When you decide which part of London you want to move to, one consideration must surely be the quality of the local Italian restaurant. We all have those evenings when we fancy a hearty Italian pizza for takeaway or eating out. The high house prices in the Hoxton area must partly be due to the existence of Amici Miei.
‘Amici Miei’ means my friends in Italian and you can’t help but feel extremely welcome as soon as you are greeted by their jovial staff. The decor might be simple, but its clean design with plenty of use of light colours makes for an extremely relaxed and informal environment. It’s the kind of restaurant you would gladly visit a few times a week rather than saving it up for a one-off special occasion.
We tried their seafood selection for the antipasti course: mussels and clams saute’ in white wine and deep-fried fresh squid, tiger prawns and garlic mayo. The former is served in a rich-tasting wine sauce and thankfully comes with crunchy crostini bread to help soak up the sauce. However, the latter is the better value option, with decent-sized crunchy prawns with a light coating of batter. All the seafood that were served were naturally fresh, although the mussels and clams could have been more meaty.
For main course, I tried one of their festive pasta specials: spaghetti with burrata, black truffle and walnut. With ingredients like those, it was unsurprisingly creamy and flavoursome. Perhaps fearing it might be overly indulgent, they have kept the portion size relatively small.
In a clear case of food envy, I was rather jealous of my friend’s well-portioned delicata pizza. It had generous amounts of mozzarella, mushrooms, shaved parmesan and truffle oil. Their sourdough pizza is made with care and precision using a slow rising process, then proofing for over 48 hours before being cooked in a wood fired oven.
There are the classic desserts like tiramisu, Panna cotta and amaretto parfait but the real winner to try is the warm puff pastry filled with ricotta, cinnamon and lemon zest served with honey. The pastry was crispy and delicately flaky, the ricotta was warm and gooey whilst the cinnamon and lemon added some spice and citrus notes. Forget the boring, usual options and order the warm puff pasty!
If you are going out for drinks and a party in Hoxton, I would highly recommend visiting Amici Miei beforehand for a decent, hearty Italian feast beforehand.