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ROSA’S Thai Cafe – Angel

Where
Rosa’s, Angel

Rosa_PadThai_LR
What
Drinks and Thai canapes at the Opening of Rosa’s Angel

The Experience
As a serious Thai food lover, I was ecstatic to be invited to the launch party of the first North London offering from Rosa’s, one of London’s most loved Thai restaurants. Starting it’s life as a market stall on Brick Lane by husband and wife duo Alex and Saiphin Moore, the family run restaurant group has fast expanded with Rosa’s Angel being the sixth location to launch shortly after opening the fifth in Chelsea.

If you have not yet eaten at Rosa’s then you really must, as like the others, Rosa’s Angel offers authentic home-cooked Thai cuisine with a flavoursome modern twist. My many personal favourites include the char grilled sirloin beef on spicy Thai salad with mint and chilli dressing; the Northern Thai sausage served with ginger and fresh coriander; pork skewers, which are marinated with honey, soy and oyster sauce and served with a fresh Thai dipping sauce; and last but not least the  prawn and squid fish cakes, which are lightly spiced with crushed peanuts & sweet chilli sauce. Yum!

What’s more, the Thai experience does not stop with the food, but also extends to the cocktails. I thoroughly enjoyed the Chilli Cherry Collins in particular, which is a deliciously sweet mixture of Rosa’s homemade kaffir lime leaf-infused gomme, shaken with elderflower, lemon, cherry and apple and served long over ice.

It’s so great to know that a delicious and well priced plate of Thai food (and of course an amazing unique cocktail) is never going to be far away.

Cost

Average Spend – £25 per head
Dishes priced between £6 – £12
Cocktails from £7.50

Address

Rosa’s Angel
6 Theberton Street,
London
N1 0QX

Rosa's Angel on Urbanspoon

Valentina Fine Foods, Chiswick

Where
Valentina Fine Foods, Chiswick

Chiswick-7
What
Valentina Fine Foods is an Italian delicatessen and restaurant group owned and run by the Zoccola and Arcari families. The original Valentina opened in East Sheen in 1991, followed by Putney, Sevenoaks, Notting Hill Gate and finally Chiswick, which opened in October 2014.

 The Experience
You enter the restaurant on Chiswick High Road through a delicatessen filled with a huge range of Italian delicacies such as pastas, cheese, cured meats, olives, pastries, traditional antipasti, and olive oils (including an own-label olive oil in a large stainless steel barrel with a tap, where customers are encouraged to bring their own bottle for refill).

If you can pull yourself away from this initial enticement, and up a few small steps, you will find the Valentina restaurant at the top. A charming photo wall of the various family members looks over the dining area and a classic Moto Guzzi Lodola motorbike hangs from the right wall – an item I am told is found in many of the Valentina restaurants.

Manager Carmine Macari talked us through the menu while we nibbled on antipasti of bruschetta with juicy tomatoes and Valentina’s delicious own-label olive oil. We began with a starter of fritto misto (deep fried squid) which comes with one large prawn and a few fried courgettes that add some colour and freshness to the dish; and prawn gamberoni with sliced avocado and a hint of chilli.

Next we moved on to our mains; an intriguing dish called Cappella Romana – tagliatelle, homemade meatballs and mozzarella, wrapped in Speck ham, then baked in the oven and served with a simple tomato and basil sauce. It’s a hearty plate with many textures, and very filling! We also shared the Orecchiette (small ear-shaped pasta) cooked with Tuscan fennel sausage and roasted red peppers in a light cherry tomato sauce, which was equally satisfying.

We were already full to the brim but the Homemade Tiramisu was too tempting to resist – layers of Savoiardi, mascarpone, espresso coffee, chocolate and finished with a dash of Marsala wine.

Of course we couldn’t leave without filling our bags with Italian treats from the delicatessen and I will definitely be returning to refill my olive oil when it runs out.

The Cost
Valentina Chiswick is a reasonably priced restaurant. The portions are large so go hungry and be prepared to be full… perhaps we didn’t need to share two starters, two mains and a dessert!

Starters: £4.95-£9.95
Mains: £8.25-£17.95
Desserts: £4.95-£7.95
Wine: From £4.35 (glass) £16.46 (bottle)

Address
404-406 Chiswick High Rd
London
W4 5TF

Valentina Fine Foods on Urbanspoon