Monday, July 1, 2013

London Guide: Como3 Cantina Chic

And I'm back!

I'm sorry to have left for so long!  As I hope I explained in my last post, I had a very important work event happen last week, and the run up to it required all of my attention.

Now that I am back, I'm going to be making a few changes.  I have decided to be more focused on the direction that I want my blog to take and to focus on more quality content, especially the London-based side of things. I hope that it's all for the better.

To kick things off, I wanted to review a restaurant that I had the pleasure of visiting last week with a couple of friends.  Como3 on Theberton Street in Islington bills itself as a "cantina chic,"combining the skills of chefs from Spain and Japan to bring the new restaurant concept of Spanish tapas with a Pan-Asian influence.  The restaurant's stated aim is to raise the standards of the neighbourhood dining scene (what I think is a bold claim in Islington).

The decor is pretty minimal, which works in some ways.  They have an amazing wine cellar with a glass front, so you can see it in all of its wooden splender, and there's a bull head (not a real one) that certainly draws your attention.  I appreciate that the rest of the decor is meant to be channelling Japanese design and is probably meant to leave it all up to the food, but it wasn't necessarily my favourite.

Luckily, the food does step up the game. I was pretty happy to have gone there for a celebratory dinner with friends who love to eat as much as me because we ordered a lot.

I think in the end, we had the following:
  • Roughly 4 orders of padron peppers
  • Pan con tomate
  • Gambas de Ajillo
  • Ham croquettes with piqullo red pepper sauce
  • Goat cheese caramelos (read: goats cheese and blueberry in Wonton pastry)
  • Japanese dumpling gyoza
  • Waygu beef tatki
  • Sea bream carpacio and tobiko
Of the above, the goat cheese caramelos were definitely my favourite.  These looked like little pastry pieces of candy and goat cheese and blueberry go so well together.  The gyoza dumplings and beef tatki were also spot on.

I'm sure there was more but I was on an adrenaline high and we'd had a few glasses of wine. We followed this up with a cured pata negra meats board and cheese board, and then we all had dessert.  I got a macha macaron with macha cream filling and yuzu ice cream.  Amazing!

It wasn't the kind of meal I felt I should be taking pictures through, so here are a few from the restaurant's food gallery:

I would definitely eat here again (and one of my friends was actually eating there the very next day).  I must admit, though, that it was extremely empty for Islington on a Thursday night, which is a big restaurant night in that part of town.  Como3 opened relatively recently, but not so recently that world shouldn't have gotten out, so I hope this isn't a sign that this Japanese/Spanish fusion concept restaurant won't be around for much longer. It would be a shame.

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Food: 7
Atmosphere: 6
Service: 7
Price: ££ to £££ (depending on how much you order)
Overall experience: 7

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