January is here and it is one of my favourite months. A lovely way to start the new year was with an Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea at Amico Bio was something a little different as it was a vegetarian one with an Italian twist. Amico Bio is a family run vegetarian restaurant that offers organic, vegan and gluten free options.
Amico Bio has a dining area that has been split into two different areas. The restaurant is made up with dark wooden tables and chairs. The walls are decorated with black and white pictures of the Amico Bio family, their farm and the organic produce.
There were a variety of teas on offer and it felt like I was spoilt for choice. After a little bit of time, the Orange and Coconut tea was chosen. Even though it was a fruit based tea, I chose to have it with soya milk and this was to my liking. There was the fruitiness of the orange but it also had the subtle coconut flavour coming through. The tea was served in a matching clay teapot and a clay drinking vessel. Before the tea, I was also served a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Amico Bio presented the Afternoon Tea beautifully. Lots of bite sized items were on a glass like platter, with the centre piece being the fruit salad. As there was a range of items, I started off with the small bites. Three small bowls contained tofu, black olives and seitan.
Seitan was not something that I had come across before and I was not too sure what it was. If I had to describe it, I would say that it was like “mock meat”. It had more flavour than tofu.
Homemade flatbread filled with chargrilled seitan, lettuce and tomato made up the club sandwich. The flatbread was thin and light. The club sandwich could have done with a bit more filling as it seemed a little sparse.
The other sandwich was egg and cucumber in foccacia bread. There was only one slice of egg and one slice of cucumber in the sandwich but I think that was due to it being a small canape style sandwich. The bread was fresh.
The scone was cut in half and it was generously filled with sultanas and cherries. It was a lovely sweet scone. Soya cream was another first for me and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It had the taste of dairy cream and its consistency was that of single cream. The soya cream and the preserve were a good combination for the scone.
The homemade cake was an almondy, nutty one. It reminded me of biscotti but it was not as hard and crunchy. It was not overly sweet and very moreish.
It was nice to end with the bowl of fruit salad. It gave a refreshing end to the whole Afternoon Tea. The selection of fruit was satsumas, peaches, apples and kiwi fruit.
What I liked about the Afternoon Tea at Amico Bio was that it was filling, but not heavy. The staff were great and they took the time to answer the questions that I had about the food. There was a friendly atmosphere at the restaurant and all the staff seemed really jolly with each other.
While I was having my Afternoon Tea, I could hear the chefs talking in the kitchen about the menu for the evening. They were so passionate about what they were going to be cooking. If I wasn’t full from the Afternoon Tea, I would easily have stayed for dinner at Amico Bio.
The manager was really friendly and she was telling me about the food. I learnt from her that there are quite a few items on the menu that change daily, depending on the season. Also, Amico Bio has a sister restaurant in Italy and their farm is near this restaurant. The food that is cooked in the restaurant is from the farm. The organic vegetables from the farm are also the ingredients used to make the meals at Amico Bio in London.
As I was so tempted by the food, it was nice that I was able to take home a portion of the Lasagne. It was a big portion, made up of many layers. It was jam packed with cabbage, spinach, ricotta and tomato. The Lasagne was delicious and it was made tasty by the quality of the vegetables.
Amico Bio was a very different restaurant. It was nice to try a vegetarian restaurant that had such a good range of food. The food is prepared with so much care and attention and this comes through in all the dishes.
Amico Bio, 44 Cloth Fair, London, EC1A 7JQRating: