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|Address:||8 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2BL|
|Tel:||020 7482 9003|
|Price: £34.00||Wine: £14.25||Champagne: £34.50|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 10.30am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm|
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First of all: the ice-cream is great and the quality unchanged since I first started trying it when there was a Marine Ices outlet near Child's Hill in the 1960ies (could have been early 70ies).
This is about the food offering in Chalk Farm where my wife and I started taking our kids and their friends on birthdays in the mid-1980ies. Nothing seems to have changed from that date, through our occasional visits thereafter and to today. This is the sort of place that “does what it says on the tin”. The place itself is quite open-plan and there are very few soft furnishings, so while it looks uncluttered the place is loud and a lot of the people look a bit grim. The service is friendly, but not accomplished. The person who served us recently seemed to be learning on the job, but was saved by the fact that see seemed genuinely nice. We were hungry, early evening and neither of us had eaten since breakfast. We ordered the Melanzane to start – that Italian staple. We were both disappointed: no cheese at all, no Parmesan offered either. Just round slices of aubergine, baked in a ragu that looked as though it came from a bottle, with a little oregano. Anyone could have done at least as well at home. My main course of chicken Milanese with salad was much better as the chicken tasted great and the breadcrumb batter was light and cooked in new oil, not old. The accompanying zuchinni fritti were the best thing we ate, though my wife liked her paillard of chicken (in other words what I had minus the crumb batter) pronouncing it moist yet flavoursome. Price was fair, especially the house Sangiovese. So, a good local standby. Not going to wow anyone (in spite of the walls being covered with autographs from “celebs”), not memorable, but food made with what seemed like fresh and good quality ingredients at reasonable value. Won't rush back, but no doubt will go back at some point… when we want a local standby.