Monday, 7 January 2008

My London restaurants review: Buen Ayre, Hackney, London

Broadway Market
E8 4QJ London

Friends visiting from Perugia, Italy; they would like to go to one of the infamous grilled meat franchised restaurants, in Soho!
I need to get creative, find an alternative.
First of all I check the reviews for the requested restaurant, and in the last 2 months I read consistently of bad experiences, long waits, cold food, wrong orders; plus I remember that when I attended their branch in the City, they used brooms, regulars brooms, to clean the grills; I know those brooms are only used to clean the grill, but still, it felt wrong. And the food was nothing special and the prices very high.
So I dove into the cyberspace, deep down, from the core of the Internet to the edges, until I had a list of some very posh and expensive grilled-meat type of places. And then I found Buen Ayre in Hackney. The location is certainly unusual, and I am sure few people who don't live in Hackney would venture there for food. Yet, I found intriguing to venture in a new area, one of the "dark" areas of London, Hackney, which to me sounds like no tube, night stubbing, gangs, etc..
Once I sold the Buen Ayre to my crew, we hopped on a minicab and off we went crossing from the City into the dark edge of town.
I felt confident thanks to the many positive reviews found in various websites about this restaurant; and also encouraged by the fact that booking was required and the restaurant seemed well busy which is always a good sign.
Ok, enough with the literature and straight to the conclusions:
1) the location is not so bad, although you do see some dodgy characters around;
2) the restaurant is nice and small and cosy, and it does gets busy; I admire the policy of 2 seatings, which spares from having to wait , also because there isn't room in the restaurant (although there is a nice pub nearby);
3) the grill is very nice and the food is prepared and served nicely and the meat kept warm with a minigrill on the table;
4) nice selection of meats and also several vegetarian options; we had a de luxe mixed grill for 2 which was really nice, with sirloin, fillet, black pudding and sausage, all very nice and tasty
5) it looks like they don't put much salt on the meat, which is probably good both for health and taste; but you might want to sprinkle an extra bit of salt;
6) good selection of wines at market prices.
Overall a very positive experience, very good food, very good service and reasonable priced.

1 comment:

Leonardo said...

Grande Ben !
Il ristorante meritava davvero e anche la ciucca di vino rosso !