Saturday, 27 April 2013

Review - Camino

During my first period of living in London temporarily, when this blog started, I made a list of restaurants I want to eat at based upon what other food bloggers had said. I've had very little chance to go to any of their recommendations mainly because they all seem to be based in South London which feels far away (but isn't really, I know) and I'd much prefer to go to places that I've seen with my very own eyes and though sounded good. I happened to be in King's Cross to see this and since that's very much not my neck of the woods, I thought I'd go to one of the restaurants from my previous list. I vaguely remembered a mention of Bar Pepito being near there so I suggested that for a post-gallery dinner. We ended up not eating in that specific bar but instead in Camino, the bigger umbrella of bar that Pepito comes under. I have to say, I'm so pleased with that decision. We were influenced by the fact that Pepito was small and not very buzzy (although really artfully decorated) and that the menu was a little bit haute for our three-sherries-down palates. So we headed back to Camino and ordered ALL of the food. Well, a good selection with lots of variety. We went for cow cheese fritters with tomato jam, cogollos (little gem lettuce, radishes and cheese sauce), alubios con pato (butter bean and duck stew), empanadilla and grey mullet. Oh, and I last minute decided I wanted some of the tomato bread to soak up the wine.
It was a mixed bag. Actually, let me preface my comments with everything was of a generally high standards so my comments are nit-picking. I was satisfied with the meal and nothing qualified as bad. But some things were more delicious than others. Let's start with the least delicious. The tuna empandillas. Nice texture, slight sweetness to the pastry but the tomato and tuna filling didn't quite work so the tuna felt like it could've gone towards a better cause. Then, tomato bread. It was basically a garlic and tomato bruschetta but unfortunately, they hadn't quite dressed it enough so the harshness of the raw garlic was still there in hints. That made it a little less than comforting which is ultimately what you want from a dish of this sort. Still, it was a good vessel for dipping in the cheese that game with the salad. That cheese was bloody addictive, so creamy and luscious! I also enjoyed the radishes. The bread was also dipped in the mellow tomato based stew of the butter beans and duck. The butter beans again provided a clean canvas to carry the sauce. The duck was pleasantly crisp but a little too chewy - it felt a little unnecessary really. The cheese fritters were fine but not that exciting. GREAT tomato jam though. The mullet was perfect. Perfect cooked and seasoned, with a side salad of onions which were so well dressed that not an ounce of sulphur bitterness remained. If everything had been as good as the mullet, Camino would get an unquestioning 10/10 but as it is, it gets a very respectable but not 100% 7.5.

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