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38C Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BX


www.aladinos.co.uk


ALADINO’S G


oing out for a Chinese or an Ital- ian has been a way of life since


forever. But popping out for an Egyptian? Not once in all my years. All 29 of them! This oversight has been happily corrected by Alexan- drian restaurateur, Aladin Barakat. Mr. B. combines simple elegance with the charm of a family-owned restaurant. It is a winning combina- tion. Located on the street of chandelier


dreams, the lighting was the fi rst thing that grabbed me. Golden bird’s nests studded with fairy lights. Stunning in the intimate dining room. Perhaps even more so in MY dining room! The service was exceptional all


through the meal. Again, the feeling of family coupled with formality made for a relaxed evening of fi ne dining. Barakat himself created much of the menu, but Head Chef, Ed Sargent, formerly of J. Sheekey and Moro has brought a wealth of experience to the kitchen. The food is excellent. The pres- entation even better. Whole wheat fl at bread with baba


46 The American


Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick


ganoush and a very refi ned hummus appeared on the table. Delicate and creamy, we had to stop ourselves from spoiling our appetites. The wine list, mostly classic French,


is pricey, but good. With little choice by the glass, we opted for a half bot- tle each of Chablis Domaine Vincent Dampt, 2012 (£21.50) and Villa des Quatre Soeurs Margaux, 2011 (£38). King prawns in a light crisp batter (£10) with compressed fennel, radish and muhammara (hot pepper dip) sounds like a fi reworks of fl avor but was, in fact, quite subtle, leaving room for the sweet taste of prawn. The batter was perfect. Goat cheese and beetroot ravioli with pine nuts and raisins (£8) was a taste explosion. The addition of ‘secret ingredient’ raspberry was pure happiness. The ravioli could be more substantial, balancing, rather than los- ing out to the other, stronger elements of the dish.The Chablis was lovely with both dishes. Mineral and citrus in good proportion.


16 hour Baharat spiced pork belly (£18) with pickled cucumber, pork


crisp and almond purée was a gor- geous plate of food. Beautifully cara- melized and very tender. The Baharat spicing (Middle Eastern curry) gave the dish a good zing. The highlight of the evening was


the slow roasted tender shank of lamb (£20). Here the spicing was excep- tional. Round, complex and melded perfectly with a huge portion of melt in your mouth lamb. And the creamy mash was like butter. Again, the Mar- gaux, velvet plum and oak, was a good choice with both meats. Om Ali (£9) was described as crisp


fi lo pastry, baked in a rich cream with vanilla,


topped with almond fl akes.


Crisp it was not. Delicious, it was. This is a custard of soggy fi lo which doesn’t sound good, but I imagine, is every Egyptian child’s dream. It made me think of dulce de leche with gorgeous roasted almonds. 70% Valrhona chocolate delice (£9)


was heaven. Summer berry compote gave balance and a pistachio tuile a touch of Middle East. So …fancy an Egyptian?


Goats Cheese & Beetroot Ravioli


70% Valrhona Chocolate Delice


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