New? November saw “Aladino’s Restaurant” become “Alexandrie Restaurant”. Aladino’s Restaurant was a restaurant originally in Alexandrie that came to London in 2015, and now has new management, new menus and a new name.
Where? 38c Kensington Church Street, Kensington, W8 4BX www.alexandrie.co.uk
On the menu: Described as fine dining from Alexandria (Egypt) in the heart of Kensington you can expect to find dishes such as molokheya; Egypt’s famous viscous herb soup, sea bass with cauliflower purée and citrus sauce, and spiced chicken roulade, filled with buffalo mozzarella cheese, harissa, and pesto.
First Impressions: It’s quiet on arrival and smaller than I expected; the venue has a basement where the bar is located and a slightly larger dining area for private events and restaurant overspill. I’m struck by how pretty it is inside; a Christmas tree in the corner adds a touch of festivity.
The Look: Cream walls are illuminated by light fixtures that look like clusters of electrical synapses which give the restaurant a warm glow. Large mirrors on the wall open up the intimate dining area while the glass walls provide the perfect opportunity for people watching.
What We Ate: Cream of cauliflower soup with truffled oil and za’atar croutons is admittedly simple but a total pleasure to eat, creamy without being bland. The Mediterranean ratatouille with pickled aubergines and chargrilled halloumi cheese was pleasant enough but had us wishing we had opted for the tiger king prawns instead. The slow-roasted tender shank of lamb was enjoyable but the meal most certainly ended on a high note with the arrival of dessert.
Om Ali is the dessert that you absolutely have to try if you’re eating at Alexandrie; layers of crisp filo pastry have been softened in the oven as they have been baked in a rich cream with a touch of vanilla, topped with toasted flakes of almond. It’s like an Egyptian version of bread and butter pudding with layers of creamy sauce drenching the pastry. Top marks. The chocolate délice served with a raspberry sorbet and peanut tuile was described by my guest as “the best pudding I’ve ever eaten, if I could only eat this forever I’d be happy”.
What We Drank: Alexandrie has a generous drinks menu thanks to the well-stocked bar downstairs so we took advantage sampling the wine and a customised cocktail. A return trip would see me trying the Lemon Cheesecake which is a mix of Sipsmith Barley, Galliano, Limoncello and cream.
Go With: The dewy lighting here makes it an ideal date night hot spot, get dressed up for dinner and finish up in the bar.
Final Word: I found the venue itself a really pretty spot to spend the evening given the décor and ambience but although the food was enjoyable I felt it lacked a certain something that would have pushed it into truly impressive. Definitely worthy of checking out for date night though and sampling authentic Alexandrian cuisine.