Amico Bio (Holborn, London)

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.


  1. Steffi said...:

    Hum, I haven't been to the new branch, but looks like it's not worth checking out. I love the atmosphere of the first restaurant, but there it's the same - either the food is very very good or really bad. Vegan food in London used to be much better :/

  1. Mits said...:

    It's such a gamble eating there, but I had a really good experience my last visit. The pizza 'roll' I had was really good, I had to ask twice if it was vegan cheese.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Dear friends, Brahmakumaris are vegetarian... and emphasize the importance of keeping thoughts pure... when preparing food... they either enhance or

    decrease the vibes of what we eat...thus affecting our health... vegetarian lifestyle is also more conducive to achieving total peace of mind.
    There is Brahmakumaris meditation...that relaxes the mind...nurtures a healthy balance between inner and outer worlds...recharge... rejuvenate the inner-self... From Gita

  1. Steven said...:

    Hmmmm, I'm not sure spam's very vegetarian?

    I really like the feel of the Cloth Fair branch, but agree that the food is too hit and miss.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I had a really good seitan sausage with fired onions and mushrooms at Cloth Fair a month or so back but the 'roast potatoes' weren't roasted, they were undercooked and looked like boiled potatoes which had been fried for a few moments on one or two surfaces only.
    A first visit to Holborn and I was disappointed to find the menu was not the same as the menu displayed online. I didn't like the sound of anything on the menu (knowing already you have to order carefully as some things are so bland). The starter was huge but not hugely interesting (I can't recall what it was) and I wasn't too impressed with my polenta main either (it was very similar in ingredients to the starter I'd had). My dining companion had a stew which contained tofu and other veg wrapped in a cabbage leaf. I found it really bland and boring but he liked it.
    The dessert, a chocolate cake, was very nice.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    correction - fried onions and mushrooms. I should also say the 'roast' potatoes were a side dish - the sausages just came with the fried onions and mushrooms and I felt they really needed something else to go with them.
    We tried a side of the 'roast' potatoes with the second meal too. They were like the previous batch although a little less undercooked.

Post a Comment