Friday, 1 June 2012

Promising a lot and not really delivering: Beas of Bloomsbury and Briciole

I had popped into Bea's of Bloomsbury a couple of years ago and tried my first ever red velvet cupcake there as well as a delicious vanilla passionfruit cupcake so had good memories of the place. I decided to head back after I finished work one Friday evening and hoping to sit down to some nice tea and cake before meeting JD for dinner. Unfortunately, the lady in front plumped for the last passionfruit cupcake so had to settle for a lemon meringue one instead. I placed my order at the counter and then went and bagged a seat. Now that I also work in a cafe, I was very conscious of customers waiting and just how long is acceptable. I wasn't really in a rush which was fine but I reckon I was sat waiting sans food and drink for a good 10 minutes. On the plus side, it demonstrated to me that people are prepared to wait that long. When my tea and cake arrived, I took a bite and was surprised to find there was no lemon curd inside. Perhaps, I hadn't bitten into the centre enough? 2nd and 3rd bites and still no lemon curd......just at that moment, one of the waitresses walked past and asked if there was any curd inside to which I replied there was not. She very kindly replaced it for me and said that the chef must've forgotten on some of them. I did get another cupcake which had curd inside this time but they weren't exactly over-generous with the stuff??!! As a pastry chef, how can you be finishing a batch of cupcakes and "forget" to add curd to some? Surely, thats blatantly obvious before you top with meringue? Oh wellos....perhaps not really a proper pastry chef in the kitchen, huh? (ie. the obsessive compulsive exacting perfectionist super-anal types and usually most talented of the profession) 

I had read great things about new Italian resto, Briciole near Edgware Road and how it was serving delicious, authentic Italian at rock bottom prices, which prompted Time Out to give it a rare 5-stars and lauded by the likes of Marina O'Loughlin. With that in mind, I thought it would be impossible to book a table a week before dining but we managed, woohoo! The excitement of bagging a table in London knows no bounds!!

The dining room is very relaxed and comfortable with attentive Italian staff at your beck and call. We ordered a number of dishes to share between us including bread, burrata, meatballs, a pasta dish with fish ragu, some steak and sides of beans and grilled vegetables. Hate to say it but nothing really stood out and eating the food did not even give us the same satisfaction of our local Italian. It was so disappointing that I don't even have the full array of pics of what we ate. I skipped pudding but JD plumped for a tiramisu - dead easy to make but this was a bland liquidey splodge in a cappuccino cup with some coffee infused biscuits hiding at the bottom, not tempting.

I guess at least we tried the place but its too much of a trek to be heading back to not so great grub :(

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