Amico Bio (London)

Amico Bio's a good looking organic Italian restaurant in a good part of London. If first impressions are all that matter then they're onto a winner.

Having heard several negative comments about their food I gave it a go anyway. A few months back I had a four course dinner (with at least a bottle of wine). It wasn't overwhelmingly good, but it wasn't that bad either. Everything's vegetarian and the number of vegan dishes/options is quite reasonable (except on the dessert menu, as is often the case with vegetarian places).

I didn't take any pics and I can't fully remember all that I had, so decided to return for lunch whilst in the area.

Whilst dinner service had been almost full; at lunch it was relatively quiet - only a few other diners. I guess most people in the area are seeking faster food than a sit down meal at lunch time.

I planned only for 2 courses, but my greedy eyes got the better of me and I ended up with 3:
Tofu arrosto con scarola £6.00 V-Gf
Roasted tofu served with scarola

Seiten Sandwich with Chips £10 V
I can't remember the exact description so I'm making this up

Selezioni di gelati e sorbetti £5.00 V-Gf
Selection of ice cream and sorbets
Service was polite and efficient. Waiting times reasonable.

OK, so what do we have here then? A lump of non-marinated plain firm tofu (lightly fried on one side) on top of some leaves.


Redeemed only by the fact it had olive oil and salt, it was overall not so great. Last time I had polenta, which was far far better. This however was something I'd expect a non vegetarian restaurant to serve.

It's a burger and chips. The chips were soggy and barely cooked. The bread was focaccia roughly cut into a circle and the burger a slab of seitan.

Seitan is a concept most UK vegans are unfamiliar with, yet widely available in Europe and America. Believing everything I read on the Internet without question (OK, not quite); I was led to believe when I turned vegan that I was seriously missing out here by not being able to buy it in the UK. The reality is that whilst seitan is pretty good, really it's the base for many mock meats we have in the UK already - which are better than eating seitan on its own.

Overall the burger concept was pretty good - the bread was nice, the salad good and well seasoned. If it had better chips and cost £7 I'd happily order it again.

Gelato is one thing that Amico does do well. I had it last time and this time again. Elsewhere this option would consist of a few scoops of Swedish Glace, but here it's something to actually look forward to.

I'm in two minds about Amico. I'd like to like it and there's enough menu options I've not tried yet. Maybe I've just been unlucky? Maybe I've an unsophisticated palate?

As there's not much else in the area and I'm often nearby I'll probably try it out again. It does seem a missed opportunity for some seriously good Italian flavours though.


  1. Steffi said...:

    I find Amico Bio a little hit and miss - I've got a friend who thinks it's the best veggie place in London, ever, so went there with high expectations. Some dishes are great, some are just meh - my personal trick is to go there with Italian friends; somehow they always manage to order the delicious stuff. What I like best is the atmosphere, it's like a regular Italian trattoria. And there wines are stellar!

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