We are biased when it comes to small Italian delicatessens. Mainly because we had been going back to just one - Saponara, which was literally right at our doorstep. Regardless of where you stay, you would have your favourite Italian deli. It can be somewhere that churns out half decent paninis or even a mean cappuccino but you can always count on it for a relaxing meal and not have someone pushing the bill subtly onto your table without prompting.
We had a Sunday brunch at Angel Delicatessen along Cross Street once before. While we found its panini passable, it didn’t create a huge impression. Alfresco dining is not exactly an option though there are a couple of tables on the pavement unless you fancy the dust in your face (or even worse, in your expresso) compliments of the occasional traffic. The narrow pavement also mean that passersby would have to negotiate their way round your table too.
That was before we discovered that Angel Delicatessen offers some seating in its backyard as well. In many ways, Angel Delicatessen reminds me of a small home setup – an extension of a home which owners decided to branch out into food business. Its backyard with its open drainage pipe (bubbling and gushing throughout our meal) and patchy wooden panels segregating the toilet are cases in point.
The service was extremely warm though rather haphazard. This is the first place that I have come across where food came before our cappuccinos. And quite some time later at that. In all honesty, our parma panini and Italian sausage penne pasta weren’t out of this world. But given its prices (panini just over £4 and pasta not more than that), we can’t really quibble, can we?
All in all, Angel Delicatessen can be delightful pit stop for a light bite. Head to its backyard for more privacy. If you can ignore the gushing open pipe, it is a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of the traffic along Islington High Street and Essex Road.
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Angel Delicatessen review Islington Cross Street - quiet backyard a welcome sanctuary