Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carluccio's (London)

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With so many other choices, why did I pick Carluccio's? Well, very simple. We were hungry and it was close to where we stayed, that was the reason. If you pay attention when you walk around the city, you will find that Carluccio's is a rather large chain restaurant!!! My past experiences with chained restaurants in Hong Kong or other countries were not something worth noting but this one in London, I may return not necessarily for its so-called food quality but for its convenience. Don't get my wrong, both my visits (brunch and lunch on two separately occasions) were ... alright, unexciting and boring to be exact, but with its convenience, setting, atmosphere (which is more fitted for a casual yet rush meal), occasional visits may happen.



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For brunch, we started the meal with a Breakfast Bread Tin which in my opinion was a perfect name for it because the bread was as hard as the tin box!!!


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My parents ordered the Colazione Magnifica which consisted of grilled pancetta, sautéed mushroom and scrambled eggs. Rather disappointing actually with overcooked eggs and pretty greasy bacon. 

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As for myself, I ordered the Eggs Florentine which was rather disappointing with overcooked yolk. The sauce was surprisingly decent considering the rather unappetizing pale yellowish color, not overly thick yet with sufficient flavor to go along with the slightly over cooked yolk. 

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I told myself that it was for the convenience that I was dining here. For the 50 mins that we were there, there was a constant inflow of customers for dine-in and take-outs. Due to its location (@ Canary Wharf), it has no shortages of customers from the surrounding office buildings. Convenience is the key attraction once again.

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The espresso I ordered was a bit watery and lacked the bold flavor I was hoping for especially it was the first cup after landing.

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After reviewing so many restos over the past year, I do realize that "sometimes" one meal cannot justify my first impression of a resto, a second visit must be arranged in order to do its justice. Well ... within 48 hours, I visited Carluccio's again for lunch at Bicester Village, an hour away from London by train. Not that we intended to dine here for the sake of trying it for the second time, it was because of the lack of choices for food at Bicester Village. We had no choice, either this or ... Starbucks? The lunch experience was better than brunch but I would put this review into the ... Boring Meal category indeed!

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How boring was it? It was so boring that I am not going to go into great details of all the dishes we had. Alright, I will try my best! The Prosciutto e Parmigiano was surprisingly lovely, perhaps because I heart all the individual ingredients / items that no matter what the combination is, I would still enjoy them.

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The Bruschetta was ... boring!

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I ordered the Gnocchi di Patate Con Spinaci e Gorgonzola simply because Gnocchi is not a commonly found item in Hong Kong. Those being served here were firm to the bite but a bit overly starchy in my opinion. Quite tiring to chew through all of them.

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The Penne Giardiniera came with deep fried spinach balls with parmesan and garlic, served with penne with courgette. There were hints of chili flavors to the sauce which made it rather ... appetizing in my opinion.

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I did not try the Pasta Con Funghi and the Linguine ai Frutti di Mare, but from how the plates were totally cleaned out by the end of the meal, I assume they were fairly decent.

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Likes:
  • Convenience is a key factor for return visits 
  • Boring and unexciting but in London monetary terms, it was quite a bargain. 

Dislikes:
  • Can I say it was boring and unexciting? 
Avg Spending:
  • Breakfast / Brunch: Below GBP 12.00 per person
  • Lunch: Below: GBP 20.00 per person
Carluccio's Canary Wharf on Urbanspoon

Carluccio's (London)
http://www.carluccios.com/

4 comments:

cheeky angel said...

I had a great breakfast at the Islington branch last year. In fact, I ordered the same dish as your parents and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder if perhaps there are different standards at different branches although one would expect them to all be of the same calibre or that perhaps standards have fallen since?

Kenneth said...

really good food...but hello tin box! :D

catty said...

Hehehe I know what you mean about boring/unexciting but convenient! I have to say, I've had one really good courgette parmigiana there though!

Jason said...

@Cheeky Angel: I think it caries "slightly" between different branches but I mean it was by no means bad (the lunch) ... just boring in a sense. It's SO MANY locations make it very convenient though so one is bound to visit again I suppose haha ..

@Catty: exactly! boring and unexciting yet convenient! It is like in every corner of major districts! so many around! ... keke

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