The Cowcross Review


The Ambassador by Pat Kua
February 24, 2008, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Restaurant, Timeout Top 50 2008

The challenge is to visit the Time Out top 50 London Restaurants and review them as an everyday Londoner who just wants to eat good food and enjoy the restaurant experience.

The Ambassador, which is nestled in amongst the other restaurants and small boutique shops on Exmouth Market was, unlike other restaurants around it, a hub of activity on Valentines Day. Positioned no. 23 on the Time Out top 50, it is the first restaurant that we have chosen to visit. We have marked the food and the ambience of The Ambassador out of 10, receiving 6 for food and a slightly higher 7 for ambience.

The Ambassador was a very welcoming, warm and inviting place on an icy cold night, the dim lights and relaxed atmosphere drew you in from the street. The interior was old fashioned café that held a slight charm to it, with exposed brick work and dark wood tables. We were taken to our seat by a polite young gentleman who sat us at the back of the restaurant on a table that looked out across the rest of the diners. The tables were well spread out, and you did not feel like you were sitting on top of the people next to you, (which can be a common occurrence for Valentines dinning).

We made ourselves at home in our corner and looked over the menu, which was made up of predominantly British seasonal food. To start I had a pork belly salad with apple sauce, it was a respectable combination that was an enjoyable starter. Although, I do hate it when you are given pork crackling that is soggy and chewy, if the crackling is not just that crackling don’t put it on the plate! Moving on to my lamb main, a very rich course that I don’t have much to say about, it was edible and not vile but was not that exciting either. The pudding was my favourite bit of the meal, a Yorkshire rhubarb crumble that was scrumptious. The rhubarb was just right not over cooked that it had turned to a mush and not under cooked that it was still really stringy. The crumble had soaked up some of the rhubarb juices so was a bit soggy but still had a crunch to it – delightful!

lamb.jpg

If you ever find yourself up in Exmouth Market I would recommend popping into The Ambassador whether for tea and cake or for a meal.

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Timeout’s Number 23: The Ambassador by thekua
February 24, 2008, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Restaurant, Timeout Top 50 2008

We had a wonderful three course meal here on February 14 (yes, on Valentine’s Day). We arrived slightly before our booking at 7pm, early enough to get one of the comfy corner couches looking back at the other parts of the restaurant. They offer wine by the glass, in half a litre carafes and by the bottle. Considering we both weren’t planning on drinking that much, we went for a carafe of a nice red (I can’t remember which off their vast selection).

My starter of a spinach and ricotta risotto was perfect – creamy perfectly cooked rice and with the soft ricotta melting into the warm body. Be warned the portion is very small and, in reality, a perfect size for a starter. The table next to us mistakenly planned to share one of them.

John Dory Fillets

Next up was John Dory Fillets served with potatoes, capers and some greens. The fish, advertised as grilled, tasted a lot more like they’d pan fried it, and the saltiness indicating that they’d seasoned it just a little bit too much. The combination still worked very well.

The sticky date pudding was a great way to finish the meal off. The pudding was soft, literally melting in the mouth and the swizzle of butterscotch sauce over it wasn’t as sickeningly sweet that many other places make it so. The small scoop of vanilla ice cream also helped cut through the rest of this heavy dish.

I’d definitely come back to The Ambassador. It’s got a great ambiance – casual, yet modern and the attendants are very friendly and best of all, very accessible to us.

Wait to read The Cowcross Review’s final rating.



Online and alive! by Pat Kua
February 17, 2008, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Cowcross Review is alive and kicking.