As if one mediocre Italian restaurant wasn't enough, last year a 2nd branch of Amico Bio popped up on New Oxford Street (half way between Holborn and Tottenham Court Road tubes).
I visited shortly after it opened in May and liked it even less than the Cloth Fair branch. Oppressive decor, loud electrical buzzing throughout the meal and a clueless waiter who explained to everyone that it was his first day. The starter was disgusting:
What was supposed to be "Potato gnocchi with aubergines and rice milk mozzarella" was like eating glue. It had next to no flavour, other than the harsh taste of herbs.
Second course tasted alright:
But bore little resemblance to its description of "Mixed vegetables & seitan kebab, yoghurt & cucumber dip".
The veg had been chopped too finely to have been cooked as a kebab; tasting more like an underseasoned fajita as a result. The yoghurt & cucumber dip was nowhere to be seen - for a restaurant with vegan meat, cheese and cream I'm unsure as to why they don't have soya yoghurt.
When I returned in July things had improved slightly. I decided to keep things simple and go with their "Pizza with tomato and mozzarella" which actually looked pretty good:
I know that some vegans like the mozzarella they use, but for me it's just a bit too yucky.
Dessert of "Peach with red wine, limoncello liqueor and carrot cake" however I actually enjoyed:
The carrot cake is the best thing I've ever tasted at Amico Bio - it was really nice! If only the portion wasn't tiny, I could have happily eaten a man sized portion. The peaches in wine was a little weird, but tasted alright and I'm led to believe is traditional.
I love Italian food and I can see what Amico are trying to achieve. London needs a good vegan Italian restaurant - there's no reason why Amico couldn't be it. In two visits to each branch so far however it's been underwhelming to say the least.
I hope the situation improves and will pop back sometime in the next few months. I'll blog an update if things are better.
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