Takeaways are great, but have you ever been out for a meal?
It’s been so long now, I’m genuinely starting to forget what it’s like to enjoy food that hasn’t been (sort of) cooked and (half-heartedly) served up in the comfort of my own kitchen.
There’s only so much a candle and napkins can do to make fish fingers look like a gourmet meal.
But lockdown isn’t going anywhere for the time-being, so with dining out off the cards, I ventured for the next best thing – a takeaway from what was crowned one of the best restaurant’s in the UK at the Good Food Awards. And it has not won this prestigious award just once, but a whopping five times.
Needless to say, my delivery from Fiddies Italian Kitchen in Hampstead did not disappoint. But there was one part of the meal that made it particularly special…
Here at MyLondon, we’re doing our very best to make sure you get the latest news, reviews and features from your area.
Now there’s a way you can keep up to date with the areas that matter to you with our free email newsletter.
The North London newsletter goes out twice day – at 7am and 4pm – and sends you the latest stories straight to your inbox.
From Haringey to Highbury, Islington to Enfield, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.
To sign up to the West London newsletter, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.
And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.
Normally I’m a bruschetta girl through and through, but my fellow food-eating partner was adamant he was having it (selfish).
It was Valentine’s Day, so I gave in (I also secretly knew I would just steal most of his starter too, so no need to kick up a fuss).
The classic antipasti dish was, as expected, divine. And I’m not sure how Fiddies are cooking that bread of theirs but it tasted like it had been magically filled with flavour.
To spice up the night I opted for something I have never tried – Caprino Fritto, which is deep fried goats cheese coated in breadcrumbs served with rocket and jam.
I’m not sure whether it was the cranberry flavours, but it felt like Christmas all over again.
I was happy as Larry.
Despite having a massive sweet-tooth, I don’t normally make it to dessert (I’ve normally overdone it on everything else!). But for the sake of informing all you lovely lot, I took one for the team (I know, I’m a hero) and got stuck in.
Tiramisu is a dessert I have never tried outside of Italy, but I can’t imagine anything tasting better than this one – even in its home country! The flavours were the perfect balance of chocolate and coffee. I was already absolutely stuffed, but the light and fluffy texture made it impossible not to go for “just one more” bite.
You may be wondering why I have left the review of my main until last. And no its not because I ate it after my dessert (that would be mildly concerning) but because it was the main dishes that set this restaurant apart from others.
Choosing my main really was a tough call. With 21 pasta dishes to choose from and 17 pizzas (not to mention a load of other meat and fish dishes) I really did face a challenge.
My meat-loving amigo went for Gigis – a 12-inch pizza (made in a stone baked oven reaching highs of 500C) topped with spicy salami, spicy milano, Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella and chilli. It got a solid 9/10, and he said the only thing that would’ve made it better was to have it in the restaurant itself (which isn’t exactly Fiddie’s fault).
In the end I opted for a smoked salmon spaghetti, complimented by cherry tomatoes and herbs in a tomato sauce, with a dash of cream.
And while it may be a basic choice, that’s only because I chose it that way. At Fiddie’s, you get the option to choose whichever kind of pasta you would like to go with your chosen sauce.
This may sound simple, but to me it’s genius, and made the Italian so much more enjoyable than any other.
I’m sure many other restaurants would not mind you asking to switch up your spaghetti for a penne, but it was nice to be able to select my sauce and then think about which pasta it would fit with best.
It made me feel like I was part of the process, and despite the head chef having 20 years experience, I think it’s great that he still allows customers to curate their own dishes based on their own preferences. Hats off to him!
And this humbleness is something I think is reflected in the restaurant’s entire personality.
While I’ve not yet been able to visit the place in person, the moderate prices, use of simple yet authentic Italian ingredients and the equal availability of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes made the whole experience a very warming and comfortable one. And that’s before I’ve even had chance to step in the place!
The restaurant’s website says it “aims to deliver the very best Italian food in the heart of London, whether it’s a quick takeaway or a full sit down meal”.
I certainly think they are doing just that, and all I can say is that post-lockdown, I will definitely be paying a visit to Fiddies!
Check out more foodie news and reviews.
Want news? Head to our homepage.
-- to www.mylondon.news