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|Address:||ME Hotel, 336-337 The Strand, London WC2R 1HA|
|Tel:||020 3542 2784|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £53.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 6.30-11am Sat-Sun 7-11.30am Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Thurs-Sat -11.30pm Sun -10.30pm)|
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The new ME by Melia Hotel is achingly trendy and I was well aware that it is designed for people a couple of decades younger than me. Nonetheless, I did not feel terribly out of place in the brightly-lit Cucina Asellina, despite the disco background music.
The restaurant is a pretty successful attempt to combine rustic Southern Italian food with hip New York style. The bread selection is good, pasta is nicely al dente and not swimming in sauce and the main courses simple and full of flavour. The menu is a little short so hopefully it will be changed fairly regularly.
The only duff note was a lukewarm espresso which would have been better with a couple of Italian biscuits added.
The two big plus points of the restaurant are the fairly modest prices (allowing for the area and the overall style of the hotel) and the extremely charming service from a very large waiting staff of largely Spanish waitresses.