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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Restaurant Review: Cucina Asellina

Cucina Asellina
My friend Laura and I were looking forward to a long overdue girly catch up last Friday and decided to go to Cucina Asellina, a restaurant hotel on the Strand. I’ve been before and I enjoyed the food and vibe - perfect for a Friday night. We clearly weren't the only people with that idea. We were sandwiched on a table for 2 between 2 other pairs of girls.  Cucina Asellina is one of those places where the tables are longer than they are wide and they’re placed relatively close together. This means you can hear your neighbours’ conversation better than your own.

We didn’t mind at all though, the strong cocktail included in our offer probably helped. We dined on the bookatable deal, 3 courses plus a cocktail of your choice (no rubbish cheap cocktails here and we didn’t have to pick the same, bonus!). The set menu itself was pretty varied- at least 6 different mains to choose from.

My starter was divine - veal meatballs - very tender, as you would expect, served in a fresh tomato sauce. Laura chose the baked aubergine tortino which she didn’t seem to be too enamored with. This was accompanied by some delicious focaccia, music bread and bread sticks. I then had the chicken paillard, aubergine, olives, capers and grape tomato. This sounded more promising than it actually was. It was effectively chicken schnitzel with a green salad. Perfectly fine but nothing special. Laura ate a mediterranean pizza which, excitingly, was rectangular shaped as opposed to circular.

As with my last visit, the dessert was the best course. My initial choice - gianduja semi freddo had already sold out, so I chose a passion fruit cheesecake. This was very well done and I particularly enjoyed the mini fruit salad which came with it - the dragon fruit was a delicious and unexpected addition. Laura’s raspberry sorbet was fresh and a perfect palate cleanser. 

Ok, so Cucina Asellina isn’t the BEST italian food you’ll ever eat, but it’s pretty good. I quite like the lively, noisy vibe and three courses (including cocktail) for £25 is certainly excellent value. Recommend.  

PS the service, I almost forgot! That tells you that it was a bit blah - nothing dreadful, but nothing that made it standout amazing.

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