Portobello Garden Caffe – Portobello Road, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Price paid per person: £13

Out and about on a lunchtime constitutional along Portobello Road last week something interesting caught my eye. Set back from the road, hiding behind vintage clothes in the arcade, was an alluringly attractive Italian restaurant. On my own, without reading material and in a hurry to get back to work, I had no intention of sitting down to eat but I was compelled to go in and investigate. I glanced at the menu and clientele, was charmed by the decor of hanging dried meat and flowers, and decided I would return imminently.

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Ember Yard – Soho, London

Can you book? Yes
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: 6/10*
Price paid per person: £40

*I went on a Sunday night, never a particularly atmospheric night anywhere.

Hollywood’s favourite pirate Johnny Depp once said, “I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.” If that is the case then he should dine every night at Ember Yard, the fourth restaurant to be born from the Salt Yard group, for confused is very much how I felt after eating there on Sunday night.

Most dishes were so lovely that I felt a genuine pang of sadness when they were nearing their end, whilst the odd few were almost offensive. Continue reading

Anima e Cuore – Kentish Town, London

Can you book? Yes (via their Facebook page)
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Price paid per person: £27

It was a cold December’s night. Being a little tardy for my friends, I scurried along Kentish Town Road looking for Anime e Cuore, what i imagined to be a busy and alluring Italian restaurant. Something seemed off when I found it; the door sign said closed, all I could see through the window was ice-cream and there were no people in sight. Confident I was at the right address though, I went inside and low and behold, there was a tiny restaurant hiding at the back. Continue reading