Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Restaurant

Mario
299 High Street
Croydon

Phone:- 0208 686 5624

Overview

Eva and I wandered into Croydon on Friday to try out Mario, an Italian restaurant.

Ambience

Mario is a very small restaurant, the walls are decorated with photos, flags and pictures; with Puccini playing in the background. It has the potential to be intimate and cosy. However, the lighting is far too bright. We asked for the spotlights, one of which was shining into Eva’s face, to be turned down.

Menu

Unlike some Italian restaurants, the menu is not that extensive. However, it offers a selection of pasta, veal and steak dishes.

Service

Efficient.

Food

I ordered the cannelloni for my starter, and was warned that it was made with beef not veal; no problem for me. However, I was (to put it mildly) far from impressed with the dish when it arrived. Instead of being rolled tubes of pasta stuffed with meat, it resembled a sloppy lasagne with very little meat.

I asked the waitress over, and lifted a layer of pasta with my fork; asking her where the meat had gone. She responded, somewhat incongruously, that she had warned me that it was made with beef; irrelevant. She offered to have the chef stuff it with more meat. We decided to forgo the dish, in return for me not being charged.

Eva started with smoked salmon, not the most generous portion I have ever seen; although served a salad, no brown bread was forthcoming.

I chose the fillet steak in green pepper sauce for my main course. This was a good quality tender piece of meat; the sauce piquant and creamy.

Eva had the veal in a white wine and sage sauce; very tasty, but not a very large portion.

Our main courses were accompanied by sauté potatoes, cauliflower in cheese and sugar snaps; all very decently cooked.

The meal, which included a bottle Pinot Grigio and several liqueurs, came to £73 before service.

Overall Opinion

Croydon has a large number of Italian restaurants, we don’t feel that there is any need to visit Mario again.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Restaurant

Galicia
269 High St
Croydon

Phone:- 0208 686 0043

Overview

It was one of the hotter evenings of the year (31 degrees), and an old chum of mine from university was paying a social call.

Duly fortified with Pimms; we strolled into central Croydon for a meal at Galicia, a Spanish restaurant.

Ambience

Galicia is a large, bright, cheerful and lively tapas bar and family friendly Spanish restaurant; it is always busy.

The walls and floors are tiled, giving it an unfussy appearance; but the tiles reflect, rather than absorb, sound making it seem quite noisy. Particularly welcome on a hot day is the air conditioning; set, I am pleased to say, at a sensible level (ie not New York arctic!).

The tapas bar accommodates a large number of people on the neatly arranged wooden tables and chairs. The restaurant is equally spacious, with the tables being laid with white and blue linen.

Menu

Galicia offers an excellent selection of dishes and tapas including; fabada, king prawns, kidneys in cream, veal, paella and Dover sole.

Service

The restaurant is “stuffed to the gunnels” with staff, it gets very busy and so do the staff. All of whom are friendly, cheerful and efficient. We had not booked, but a table in the restaurant was quickly set up for us without any fuss.

Food

I chose the fabada (beans, Chorizo and pork) for my starter. Piquant and tasty, a fine way to start the meal.

I had the chicken breast in a cream and mushroom sauce for my main course. The chicken was succulent, and was complemented by the sauce; which did not overpower it.

David kicked off with a very generous portion of prawns, served with a fan tailed cut avocado and salad.

He chose the lamb cutlets for his main course; these were plump and succulent, and were served with a sauce boat of creamy garlic sauce.

Our main courses were accompanied by a very generous silver platter of sauté potatoes, battered courgettes and haricot vert.

The meal, which included; cocktails, a bottle of Chardonnay and brandy, came to £60 including service.

Overall Opinion

A great place to go for good food, a lively atmosphere and value for money.