I was in London I was staying at the Crowne Plaza in Ealing and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant. They have an extensive menu with some interesting choices.
I always think that the way in which a restaurant cooks and serves calamari gives you an insight into what kind of cooking they do, and food they serve.
So seeing Spiced Squid Rings on the menu I thought I would give them a try. They were described as battered calamari dusted with paprika served with garlic and lemon aioli.
Now I will say at this point that I didn’t think that these would be any good, the description of the squid as battered calamari said to me that these was not going to be freshly cooked squid. This would be frozen calamari rings cooked off in the deep fat fryer.
When it arrived, it was as expected.
The batter was thick and doughy. The squid wasn’t tender, but then it wasn’t chewy either.
Sometimes I think does a dish need a salad garnish, this one did.
I was expecting to me disappointed, and yes I was disappointed.
For my main course I went with the Garlic Butterfly Chicken. Normally this is something I wouldn’t choose, but decided I would go with something different. The hot weather also meant I did actually fancy a salad.
This was marinated chicken served with Panzanella Salad & grated parmesan cheese.
This was a much more impressive looking dish.
The chicken was cooked well, it had been cooked on the griddle, but was still moist and tender and full of flavour.
Now as for the Panzanella Salad. Well if you search online you can find a description of Panzanella Salad.
Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan and Umbrian chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.
The salad I got wasn’t quite that, but it was a nice salad. There was stale bread, tomatoes, onions, but it also had quite a bit of sweet peppers as well. I liked the use of grated parmesan cheese. The bread was a little too stale, but did add crunch to the salad.
I liked it, but I think that Florentine traditionalists would disapprove.
So despite the disappointing starter, I did enjoy my main course.