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February 8th, 2012

ALMEIDA (Islington)

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Wild Mushroom and Truffle Risotto @Almeida

Category: Brasserie (£££)yellow traffic31 150x150 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Almeida, a French brasserie just opposite the outstanding Almeida Theater, does a very good value pre-theatre menu: 2 courses for 16 and 3 courses for 19 pounds.

We went to see The House of Bernarda Alba, a Llorca play with a pure female cast, transferred from catholic Spain to rural Iran.  I liked it a lot, while my boyfriend found it depressing and hated it.  I suggest you believe me and go see it, it’s on until 10th of March.

I have been to the Almeida Restaurant on several pre-theatre occasions and was never completely convinced.  Now, I decided to give it another try and promised myself that if I liked the pre-theatre menu, I would return for a proper, a la carte meal.

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Pre-Theatre Menu @Almeida

We started with the Roquefort, Walnut and Chicory Salad which was absolutely undistinguished.   Roquefort, my favourite blue cheese, usually works so well in combination with earthy walnuts and I am fond of chicory, but this salad was just bland.  Can you see the little drizzles of dressing around the plate?  This was all there was.

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Roquefort, Walnut and Chicory Salad @Almeida

Nicer was the Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait which consisted of a generous portion, almost enough for two to share.  The parfait was flavoursome and very nicely seasoned with lovely, crisp and freshly toasted bread;  I was however not keen on the parfait’s consistency.  It reminded me a bit of the chicken liver spread from the tin that I used to eat in my early student days (when I suffered from a short but tragic period of misguided taste, probably due to too much partying).

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait @Almeida

The Wild Mushroom and Truffle Risotto was excellent and without doubt the best dish of the evening.  The rice kernels had the right consistency between still being a bit al dente and creamy, and the intense nutty flavour of the wild mushrooms dominated the dish, while truffle aroma lingered pleasantly in the background.

The Panfried Hake was a decent, with a lovely and light champagne sauce and a nicely prepared fish which was unfortunately borderline dry.  What did not work too well for me were the accompanying crushed potatoes, which in my opinion were too crude for the subtle flavours and fine texture of the fish.

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

Panfried Hake @Almeida

Overall this was a not a bad meal and absolutely perfect for £16, but I can’t get excited about either food, or atmosphere, or service. I wouldn’t suffer to go back again for pre-theatre, but I won’t exactly be hurrying there for the the a la carte and mains costing between 13 and 22 pounds.

In the end it really bored me writing this review,  and that’s a strong indication of how I feel about Almeida. Yawn.

 ALMEIDA (Islington)

The Bill @Almeida

  • Food: 6/10
  • Value for Money : 8/10 (for Pre-Theatre)
  • Service: 6/10
  • Ambiance: 6/10
  • Chances of Returning: 10% for pre-theatre
  • Verdict: nothing really wrong with Almeida, but nothing really right either.

biglink ALMEIDA (Islington)

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