Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Pizza Union, Kings Cross, London restaurant review

Located a few minutes walk from King’s Cross Station, Pizza Union serves Roman style thin and crispy pizzas.

They have a set-up which cannily straddles between fast food joint and full blown restaurant - the interior has an industrial canteen like vibe; the average pizza price weighs in around the £5 mark; and it’s self-service so you collect your order from the counter when a buzzer goes off.

After just a few minutes of waiting our our pizzas were ready.

First of all a word about the pizza base - thin and crisp with a dusting of semolina and a decent chew, it’s a fine example of its type. Combined with a light tomato sauce and good mozzarella, Pizza Union have a quality product.

A vesuvio (£5.50) was topped with a generous amount of pokey pepperoni and fiery green and dried chillies.

A calabria (£5.95) meanwhile combined spicy n’duja sausage with creamy mascarpone and a handful of peppery rocket. 

A manzo (£5.95) was the only average offering - the minced beef topping lacking a little in seasoning. 

For dessert there’s a fridge full of Italian gelato from Kensington’s Oddono’s to choose from. A salted caramel flavour (£2.50) was light, smooth and milky with a good level of salty sweetness. 

The star of the show (and arguably the meal) was a crisp pizza dough ring (£3.25) filled with molten nutella, creamy mascarpone and chocolate chips. As my good friend Gianfranco would put it "Wowee Wow Wow". 

If you’re looking for a quick and good value bite to eat near King's Cross then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pizza Union.

The Details

Address - Pizza Union, 246-250 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9JY
Telephone - 020 7278 9425

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Dill Jeera, Llandaff North, Cardiff Indian restaurant review

Dill Jeera, located in the suburb of Llandaff North, is one of a number of Cardiff Indian restaurants which are heavily influenced by Purple Poppadom and Mint and Mustard.

The chef and owner, Sundaramoorthy Krishnasam has previously worked in both restaurants, the food is a high-end take on southern Indian cuisine with a few other influences thrown in, and a few of the dishes are very very familiar.

It’s most certainly not a bad thing, in fact it’s fantastic that Cardiff has so many Indian eateries which steer away from the uninspired path of onion bhajis and chicken tikka masalas.

Crisp poppadom shards (£2.50) were served with a very good chutney selection - refreshing pineapple with a good spike of chilli, cleansing mint, and decent mango and date varieties.

Tender, perfectly pink lamb chops (£7) were coated in a potently spiced crust. I picked every last scrap from the bones. However, a pedestrian mustard vinaigrette coating the side salad felt like a missed opportunity. 

A trio of soft, flame-licked paneer pieces (£4.75) were delicately sweet and fragranced with saffron.

Onto mains, and a Karuveppilai chicken curry (£9) saw plenty of tender meat in a sauce fragranced with curry leaf, coconut and chilli. It was a good dish but the spicing lacked a little complexity. 

In contrast, there was a huge depth of flavour to a Malabar fish curry (£10.99). Meaty swordfish was bathed in a sauce heady with coconut, curry leaf, ginger, slightly sour kokum and chilli. 

A side of paragi parrapu curry (£4) was on the nail - the fragrant lentil dhal was flecked with pieces of butternut squash. 

A peshawari naan (£2.50) was as good as they get - crisp, soft and stuffed with a not too sweet nut paste. 

Coconut rice (£2.75) was light and beautifully aromatic.

Desserts were no afterthought. Perfumed sugar syrup soaked gulab jamun (£3.99) were served with first rate vanilla ice cream. 

Honey infused pineapple (£4.50) was balanced by a lick of smoke from the tandoor oven. It’s a dish familiar from the menu of Purple Poppadom and Mint and Mustard but it’s an absolute beauty. 

We had a lovely meal at Dill Jeera and I’d be chuffed if I was able to call it my local curry house. There’s also a friendly family feel to the place as we were enthusiastically served by the chef’s daughter.

It’s worth noting that when we visited Dill Jeera they were getting ready for a menu switchover. As such a number of items were unavailable - perhaps their new menu will be a little more concise as the current selection is slightly too expansive.

The Details

Address - Dill Jeera, 125 Station Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff CF14 2FE
Telephone - 02921 321 290

Dill Jeera Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato