An early movie meant that was plenty of time for dinner afterwards. Around Swiss Cottage, there seems to be a limited amount of places to dine. Most of them are more towards Finchley Road such as Zizzi and Sprinkles Gelato. There was Del’Aziz but this closes early. Two of our favourites, Me Love Sushi and Guglee would have been perfect but unfortunately they have both closed down.
However, heading away from the busy main road area, there was Arabesque in Winchester Road. Arabesque was quite dimly lit from the outside, however inside it was bright and welcoming. Delicate flowers in little vases decorated the tables. The ornate lighting created beautiful patterns on the ceiling. An open kitchen was part of the dining area. For the seating, there were high backed cream chairs and red cushioned seats.
To start with, a mixture of green and black olives were given. A basket of fresh warm flatbread was lovely with the dips. The garlic mayonnaise tasted homemade and the harissa dip was not too spicy.
For the mains, we were contemplating between the red mullet and trout. The mullet was chosen as we assumed it would be filleted whereas the trout would be the whole fish. Our decision was made in the sense that the staff told us that the red mullet had been sold out. The trout was butterflied.
The silver trout was butterflied and had been marinated with saffron and garlic. It came with a basmati rice and salad. The fish was a tasty dish and it had been cooked so it remained moist and flaky.
The Tabsi was an oven baked dish. It was a combination of chickpeas, mushrooms, courgettes, potatoes, onions, aubergines and tomatoes. There was a real depth of flavour to the Tabsi and it went well with the rice and herb salads. The only issue with this main dish was that it was fairly oily and seeped out from the vegetables.
Arabesque has a nice motto of “food for people with a zest for life”. This restaurant provided us with a nice evening meal out in a relaxed setting and friendly staff.
Arabesque, 23 Winchester Road, Swiss Cottage, London, NW3 3NRRating: