Wednesday, 22 October 2014

One Aldwych and Cucina Asllina at the ME Hotel

On Friday night, we had a little family get together. My little sister had travelled back to London from uni and so my mother and I went out to meet her and her boyfriend for dinner and cocktails.

We started in the lobby bar of One Aldwych. I'd never been here before, but it was a firm destination in Mum's stomping ground and so I was quite interested to see what all the fuss was about.

Well, I learned pretty quickly. I'd been expecting pretty traditional cocktails from such a well known establishment, but was more than pleasantly surprised when I was presented with the menu. After much um-ing and ah-ing, I opted for a whisky based cocktail called 'The Magic Gift' which contained a chocolate liquor and a mushroom infusion, and came presented in a hip flask. My sister's boyfriend had an even more interesting concoction which came served in a mini smoking cocktail shaker!

We all happily sipped away until suddenly realising that we were running a little late for our restaurant reservation so, hurriedly gathering our things, we nipped over the road to Cucina Asllina at the ME Hotel.

Cucina Asllina was pretty busy and very loud when we arrived. Every table seemed to be full, but it sounded like there were twice as many people there. I'm not entirely sure if this was due to one or two tables being particularly noisy (there was a birthday going on in one corner) or just the acoustics of the place, but we found ourselves nearly shouting over our table to hear each other, despite being in a less busy corner.

However, rather hungry after our cocktails, we happily perused the Italian menu, opting for three courses, while sipping on glasses of bubbles.

The food was lovely, but nothing particularly special taste wise. The presentation was nevertheless very pretty and I felt rather remorseful as I munched through it. Well... for about thirty seconds at least. It was also nice how the staff filled our glasses with cucumber flavoured water without being asked, something that surprisingly you often don't see in other restaurants. Yet, it was a shame that they ran out of one of the puddings and so my sister was unable to order her first choice. They did resolve this in the best way possible though, by offering her a selection from an alternate menu.

All in all I had an enjoyable meal and although Cucina Asllina won't ever be my favourite restaurant, we had a very pleasant evening once we'd adjusted to the noise level. More importantly, it was lovely having a catch up with the family before we all went our separate ways again!  

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