March 28, 2012
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Review by Mrs. J
When a fabulous friend offered to look after Baby J for the evening it meant that Mr J and I could take the opportunity to try out Puccini’s. I’d never been there before but from the outside it looked quite small and cosy. When you get inside you soon realise it is a bit of an Aladdin’s cave. There is seating at the front consisting of big leather sofas, wooden tables and chairs, then they have the bar and kitchen area. Once you pass the bar area you then take a bit of a left and soon see there is more tables and chairs at the back.
We chose a table at the front as it had more of a cosy feel. Puccini is painted in a warm terracotta colour with plenty of art on the walls and flowers and candles on each table. The back area has brighter lights and seemed to be where the larger groups were dining.
The menu is quite varied, you can choose a selection of tapas (these can also be a starter) or go for a bigger main meal such as pasta, meat or fish. The prices are pretty reasonable I think the most expensive thing on the menu was just under £15. To start we chose the Peppered Mushrooms and Zaatar Bread. I’d never heard of zaatar bread before but was glad I picked it. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it looks a bit dark. Zaatar bread is a flat herby bread with sesame seeds on the top. It was a perfect accompaniment to the peppered mushrooms. I usually stay away from creamy dishes as I find they can often be quite sickly. Luckily this wasn’t at all. There was plenty of mushrooms, sliced red and yellow peppers and plenty of sauce to dunk the bread into!
For main I chose the Lamb Brochette and Mr J went for the Catalan Chicken. When ordering Mr J asked the waiter what the chicken came with as it didn’t say on the menu. The waiter said it came with sauté potatoes but he suggested that he could swap it for rice if he’d prefer. The waiter was really friendly and chatty – I like it when staff make recommendations as they know the menu better than anyone else. I tried some of Mr J’s Catalan Chicken. The meat was lovely and tender and it had a tomato and sweet pepper sauce. It was perhaps a little on the salty side but that’s just a personal opinion.
My dish was the bigger of the two. It came with rice, salad and a dish of hot sweet chilli dipping sauce. I’m glad the sauce was separate as although it was very tasty and went well with the lamb it did have quite a kick to it. If the meat had been smothered in the sauce it would have been too spicy for me. The lamb was lovely and tender but again seemed a little bit salty.
There is no dessert menu in Puccini but they direct you to their tall display cabinet and the waitress goes through it all with you. The night we went they had apple pie, carrot cake, baklava, Arabic sweets and tiramisu. Although the Arabic sweets looked really unusual they would have gone well with coffee. I still had quite a bit of wine left which I didn’t want to leave so I went for the tiramisu. I have a sweet tooth so this was my favourite part of the meal. I’m the type of person to happily skip on the starter to make sure I leave room for afters! The tiramisu was delicious, it was lovely and creamy and there was quite a bit of alcohol in it too. Although it was chosen to share I’m afraid Mr J only managed to sneak two mouthfuls of it, I scoffed the rest!
My Last Mouthful was : Tiramisu
Atmosphere and decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-
Overall rating –