There seems to be a recent trend of refurbishment among the restaurants along the Islington Upper Street. Restaurants, which we thought are new turned out to have been given a makeover. The stretch opposite Islington Town Hall sit two such examples - The Brasserie and Comedor Grill and Bar.
Other than Wahaca, which has been my default lunch venue in Canary Wharf, I have not really come across any South American cuisine in London that has blown me away. Obviously, I'm no expert in it but Luiz at London Foodie has provided a rather comprehensive top South American restaurants in London, which I would definitely refer to in the new year.
"Is the restaurant new?" Wife asked the waiter at Comedor as we sat down in the empty restaurant. He then went on to explain that Comedor has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment. "We now have more cocktails on the menu," he promptly offered. His face almost fell when we decided to skip the drinks and go for the food immediately. I hate to disappoint him but we were really looking for a light afternoon bite that day.
The three cooks in the kitchen got busy after we placed our orders - only a large panel glass seperates Comedor's kitchen and its main dining area. All that sharpening of knives and clanging of pots made us more eager for our grilled plates, which were taking quite a while.
Everything went downhill the moment our orders arrived. The chicharron con apera (£4.50) or crispy pork belly had a crackling that was more sticky and soft than crispy. The meat, which juice wasn't sealed properly, tasted bland and dry as a result.
I made the mistake of going for the brocheta mixes (£6.90), skewers of beef, chicken and lamb, on the day after Boxing Day. The grilled meat tasted distinctly stale. Either that or there was something seriously wrong with the thin dressing. We left the lamb skewer untouched.
Higaditos de pollo (£4.50) - chicken liver, tasted boiled rather than grilled. The port reduction sauce failed to mask that. The only saving grace perhaps was the butter mushrooms and scullion mash, which we relished after being disappointed by the other two plates.
Comedor's grilled plates might be more palatable after a couple of cocktails but forget it if you are intend on keeping sober. The staff's service was full of the typical South American charm but even that failed to cheer us up that day.
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Gauthier Soho 2016
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