Saturday, 5 September 2009

Caffè Uno (Edgware Rd)

Six Feet Under

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I decided to nip this in to ease the monotony of the café reviews and oh yes, the race to write up on L’Anima by my contemporaries. If you’ve seen the film True Stories made by Talking Heads’ David Byrne, then you’ll concur with me that the Caffè Uno chain of restaurants reflect the unfussy needs (demographically and perfectly) of any forgettable small towns. Everything about the chain is manufactured, synthetic and downright lame. But then again food lovers like us shouldn’t be too snooty on issues like this, we all need to tolerate and respect the views of the non-foodie types; they’re after all in the majority and invariably representative of our family and friends. Like the Harvester and Pizza Express chains, Caffè Uno is an important ‘love’ of the common people.

Came here for dinner last night with three other friends. All three do not buy the tag live to eat, they have other priorities like gadgets, Top Shop and IWC watches. An option of Carluccio's would prove too intriguing for them (or why spend all the money on food?). Of all the Uno branches I’ve been seen, the Marble Arch branch on Edgware Road is the grimmest and life defying. The only two good things with this place, no muzak and service charge is blotted out. Not once did the staff asked us whether if we enjoyed the dishes, don’t shoot them as it would be churlish for them to do so. They know the score, lateral thinking don’t you know?

The following photographs epitomise 'don’t taste as good as shown' examples.

Marina’s Risotto Marinara
Spicy seafood risotto with mussels, king prawns and squid in a tomato, chilli and white wine sauce, dressed with fresh herbs.
Portion- Pitiful
Solution- Cook your own

Lowey’s Linguine pollo e gamberetti
Pasta linguine with 2.5 sautéed king prawns and chicken breast in a white wine and tomato sauce, lightly seasoned (you’re kidding?) with chilli and fresh basil
Portion- Pitiful
Solution- Cook your own

My Pork Milanese
Dried out escalope of pork with a greasy coating of ciabatta crumbs and Grana Padano cheese, served with not so delicious Genovese pesto and the most basic of spaghetti pomodoro.
Portion- Pitiful
Solution- Cook your own

Pete’s Gourmet burger
Sub prime beef burger in a seeded bun bursting with tomato, basil, relish, red onions and rocket– all dished up with a generous helping of fries!
Portion- More than adequate
Solution- Give up burgers.
Pete is the only mate I know of who orders burger in an Italian joint, he does it all the time. If Tayyabs offered one on their menu he’ll jump at it. I also believe that out of the four us tonight, he was the only one who enjoyed his meal.

Dessert time.
Marina was on a diet. The rest of us carried on.

Pete’s Torta di limone
Lemon tart, served with raspberry coulis and mascarpone.

My Mocha latte cheesecake
Vanilla and coffee cheesecake topped with chocolate chips and served on a rich chocolate sauce. If you like Wall’s Viennetta, you’re more than welcome to this.

And Lowey’s Tiramisù in the backgound.
Supposedly the classic Italian dessert with mascarpone cheese, coffee, Marsala wine and a light sponge dusted with chocolate.

The food served here is essentially plane food served at sea level, be grateful chums, at least you can taste the salt and no turbulence to speak of. I don’t want to go back but I have to because I have friends.

11 Edgware Road
London W2 2ER

1 comment:

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