Tag Archives: Italian cuisine

British’s Favorite Foreign Cuisine


I am writing this blog while I am watching Italy vs Paraguay, the first World Cup match for Italians, the defending word champion. Players of Azzuri are about the same from the last World Cup including the coach,but just 4-year older, therefore it is anticipated that it is quit hard for them to maintain the championship. In addition, there is no player selected from Inter,  the team completed The Treble, becoming the first ever Italian team to achieve the feat, by winning the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in a single season. Accordingly, it is reported that Italians are not excited much for this Word Cup game – yet.

少し前の記事だが、Cauldron Foodsの調査で、イギリス人の好きな外国料理のトップ8で、イタリア料理が堂々の1位に輝いた。2位のフレンチ、旧植民地だった3位のインディアンなどは納得できるが、7位、8位にメキシカン、ギリシャ料理がランクインしたのが意外。最近ブリートを売るファースト・フードショップ、メキシカン・レストランが増えていてるのはその人気のせいか。でもギリシャ料理店は、ロンドンにはあんまり多くないように思うんだけれど。

  1. Italian/イタリアン
  2. French/フレンチ
  3. Indian/インディアン
  4. American/アメリカン
  5. Chinese/チャイニーズ
  6. Other/その他
  7. Mexican/メキシカン
  8. Greek/ギリシャ料理

I read a while ago that Italian food is selected as the most favored foreign cuisine in UK, based on a study commissioned by Cauldron Foods. Sounds reasonable that French and Indian, a former British colony, come the second and the third, but it is a bit surprising that Mexican and Greek ranked rather high on number 7th and 8th. I don’t see many Greek in London, but now I get why Burrito shops and Mexican restaurants are spurning in the capital.


A survey by BBC’s Olive food magazine gives the similar result.  Over 40% of nearly 2,500 readers who participated the survey chose Italian as their favourite foreign food, followed by Indian food at 16%. Pasta is the most popular Italian dish, favoured by 26.5% of people, and the favourite sauce on pasta is Bolognese, followed by carbonara and then pesto. Lasagne is their second choice with 15% of votes and pizza is the third at 14%, followed by risotto. Although the teaching of Italian language is not commonplace in British schools, but Italian is their second-favourite language, after French. I thought Spanish would be the second, as Spain is the number one destination for British tourists and many Brits have a second house in Spain – I guess food is the powerful force for people to fall in love with a certain culture.

元に戻るが、Cauldron Foodsの調査によると、昨年イギリスの食卓に上った料理10皿のうち、6皿は外国料理だったそうだ。これを受けて、Cauldron Foodsの広報は、「it’s clear that we Brits are actually some of the most adventurous and cosmopolitan foodies in the world(私たちイギリス人は、世界の中でも冒険的でコスモポリタンなグルメであることは確か」 とのコメントを出したけれど、その割にアフリカ料理やカリビアン料理など、ロンドンに多く住む移民たちのエスニック・フードは、インディアンを除いて移民街以外ではあんまり見かけないし、タイ料理やベトナム料理に比べて人気もないし、トレンドにもならない。これで、世界的にもコスモポリタン、と自負するのはちょっと行き過ぎ?

Back to Cauldron Foods survey, 6 out of 10 meals prepared in British households last year were derived from foreign culinary traditions. Cauldron Foods PR says, “it’s clear that we Brits are actually some of the most adventurous and cosmopolitan foodies in the world”, but I hardly see a certain ethnic food restaurant such as African and Carribian cuisine outside their community. Though there are lots of people from these countries living in London, these ethnic restaurants have not the same popularity as other exotic cuisines like Thai or Vietnamese. Isn’t it a too much boast to call themselves ‘cosmopolitan’ with this result??

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Bottega Prelibato Italian Café / Restaurant @ Shoreditch

ホクストン・スクエアの少し南、Rivington Streetにある小さなイタリアン、Bottega Prelibato(ボッテガ・プレリバート)。店内は、むき出しのレンガ壁に、白木のテーブルや椅子が置かれ、壁には吊り下げられた生ハムやフライパン、ガーリック、そしてバジルの鉢植え。イタリアの田舎町の、居心地のいいトラットリアにいるような気分になる。地下にもソファやテーブルが置いてあるけれど、ちょっと暗くて、地上階の方がお薦め。気づかなかったけれど、帰ってから調べてたら、ギャラリーにもなっていて、アート作品も飾ってあるそうだ。またウェブ・ショップでは、イタリアの食材も扱っている。

私たちはランチに行ったけれど、木〜金曜日は11時まで開いていて、ディナーもできるみたい(開店時間は日によって違うので、店のフェイスブックページで確認を)。ランチメニューは、生ハムやサラミ、チーズの盛り合わせ、パニーノ(サンドイッチ)、そして日替わりの生パスタ数種などなど。デザートのドルチェ(ケーキ)ももちろんある。写真下はフェットチーネのミートソース(Fettuccine al ragù, £7)。ソースもフレッシュで、なかなか美味しい。でも量は少なめ、もうちょっと食べたかったな。

Bottega Prelibato is a small Italian café/deli/restaurant located on Rivington Street, south of Hoxton Square in Shoreditch. The place is decorated with exposed brick walls, light wood tables & chairs, and hanging prosciutto, garlic, a basil pot and a pan – this warm interior makes you feel like you are in a cozy trattoria somewhere in Italian countryside. There are sofas and tables downstairs as well, but it is a bit dark, and I recommend to sit on the ground floor, if available. The space also functions as an art gallery, although I didn’t notice any art works when I was there. They also sell Italian food products on its web shop as well.

We went there for lunch but it opens until 11pm from Thursday to Friday for dinner (opening hours vary – check their facebook page for more details). Cold meat and cheese platters, panini (sandwiches), and some daily fresh pasta dishes etc are on their lunch menu, as well as some dolci (sweets) and pastries. We both ordered “fettuccine al ragù” (fresh pasta with meat sauce, £7). The meat sauce was quite delicious and fresh, but the dish was a bit too small for my empty stomach – I wish I could have eaten more!

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Franzé & Evans Italian Deli @ Redchurch Street

ブリックレーンの北、Redchurch Streetにあるイタリアン・デリ、Franzé & Evans。名前がイタリアンっぽくないので、メニューを見るまでイタリアンだとは気づかなかった。入口近くの大きな棚には、オリーブオイルやバルサミコ酢、パスタ、パッサータ(トマトを裏ごししたピューレ)等のイタリアの食品がきれいにディスプレイされ、デリカウンターのショーケースには、サラミやチーズ、そして手作りのパスタソースややケーキ類が並ぶ。パスタを中心に、イートインもテイクアウトもできる週変わりのランチメニューは、なかなかボリュームがあり、味も満足点。ステンレス製の椅子やオセロ風の白黒の床など、インテリアはちょっと時代遅れの感が否めないけれど、カジュアルに美味しくランチできるイタリアン・デリは、チェルシー&ケンジントンやロンドン西部には多いけれど、イースト・ロンドンにはあまりない貴重な存在。この辺りは、Pizza EastAlbion Cafe等、いろいろいいお店もあるので、どこでランチするか迷ってしまう(でもブリック・レーンのカレー屋は、客引きが押しが強くてしつこいし、材料や衛生状態等あんまり信用できなさそうなので行かない)。

Franzé & Evans is an Italian deli on Redchurch Street, just the north of Brick Lane. Their name doesn’t sound like Italian, so we didn’t recognize it is an Italian deli until we saw their menu. Italian groceries such as olive oils, balsamic vinegar, dry pasta, and tomato passata, are neatly displayed on the large black shelves, and you see salamis and cheese, as well as handmade pasta sauces and cakes, in the showcases at the deli counter. Weekly lunch menu that you can eat-in or take-out, mainly pasta dishes, is fairly large and good. Although the interior is a bit outdated, like silver steel chairs and black & white floor, but a casual+fast Italian eatery is rarity in East London, although there are many in the West. There are some nice places for lunch in the area, such as Pizza East and Albion Cafe, and sometimes we can’t decide where to go! (but we don’t go to curry houses in Brick Lane – their touters are pushy and naggy, and we are not sure if we can trust their hygiene and choice of ingredients…)

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Al Volo Italian Restaurant @ The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane

ブリックレーンOld Truman Breweryにあるカジュアル・イタリアン、Al Volo(アル・ヴォロ)。NUDE ESPRESSO CAFEROSA’Sと同じ通り、Hanbury Street沿いから入ったところにある駐車場にある。明るく暖かみのあるインテリアは、センス良くモダンにまとめられており、居心地もいい。ランチタイムとディナータイムの間もキッチンをクローズしないので、遅いランチや小腹が空いた時にも便利。スタッフの多くはイタリア人で、あまり忙しくない時間だったからか、テーブルで楽しくお喋りしていた。

Al Voloでは、antipasti(前菜)、Bruschette(ブルスケッタ)、Zuppa(スープ)Piadine(ピアディーナ), Pasta(手作りのフレッシュパスタとDe Cecco乾燥パスタのチョイス)、Secondi(メイン)、Insalata(サラダ)、 Contorni(サイドディッシュ)、Pizze(ピザ)、Dolci(デザート)と、軽食からちゃんとした食事まで、幅広いメニューの中から選べる。秋のシーズンメニューの中から私たちが今日オーダーしたのは、Penne all’arrabbiata(ペンネ・アラビアータ)とTagliatelle al pesto siciliano piccante(プラムトマト、薫製リコッタチーズ、松の実、アーモンド、にんにく、唐辛子、生バジルを使った、スパイシーなシチリア風ペストタリアテッレ)。クリーミーなタリアテッレのソースは、不味くはないけれど、何とも言えない不思議な味。でも手作りの生タリアテッレは悪くない。アラビアータはパスタの正統派、完熟トマトの自然な甘みが美味しい一品だ。食後のエスプレッソとカプチーノは、イタリア人の店だけあって、上出来だった。

毎日オープンしているが、Sunday UpMarketとThe Backyard Marketが開かれる日曜日は大変混むので、ゆっくり食事したければ、マケーット開催中は避けるのがベター。

Al Volo is a casual Italian restaurant in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, and it is facing the parking space on Hanbury Street, the same street of NUDE ESPRESSO CAFE and ROSA’S. This airy and cheerful restaurant is decorated modern and in good taste. They don’t close kitchen in between lunch time and dinner time, and it is good place to go for late lunch or snacks. Most of the staffs are Italians, and they enjoyed chatting as it was not a busy time when we went.

Their wide range of menu offers anything you want from Italian restaurant from nibbles to mains – antipasti (appetiszers), Bruschette, Zuppa (soup), Piadine (thin bread sandwich), Pasta (handmade fresh pastas and De Cecco dry pastas), Secondi (mains), Insalata (salads), Contorni (side dishes), Pizze (Pizza) and Dolci (sweets). From their Autumn menu, today we ordered Penne all’arrabbiata and Tagliatelle al pesto Siciliano piccante (spicy pest0 of plum tomatoes, smoked ricotta cheese, pine kernels, almonds, garlic, chilli pepper and fresh basil) – photo. Creamy Sicilian style pesto sauce was not terrible but I don’t know what to think – it is unfamiliar taste for me. However, handmade tagliatelle was not bad. Penne with nice and sweet sauce made of ripen tomatoes was pretty good – we loved it. Their espresso and cappuccino after the meal were very good – we can count on an Italian-operated place!

Al Volo opens everyday but can be very busy when Sunday UpMarket and The Backyard Market are held on Sundays, so better avoid Sunday during the markets, if you want to relax without hassle.

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Christmas decoration @ Carluccio’s Cafe


1999年にオープンしたCarluccio’sは、イタリア出身のシェフで食のエキスパートでもある、Antonio Carluccio(アントニオ・カルルッチョ)とその妻でサー・テレンス・コンランの妹、Priscilla(プリシラ)が手がけた、フードショップ併設のイタリアンレストランのチェーンで、全国に40店以上展開している。カラフルな店内は明るくていいんだけれど、インテリアが少し時代遅れで、ちょっとファミレスっぽいかも。チェーンだからというわけではないけれど、味はまあ普通。自分的には、すごく美味しいという程ではないけれど、イタリアンが食べたい時に、近くに目ぼしいレストランがなければ行くところ、という位置づけかな。今日は、シチリア風アランチーニイタリア風ライスコロッケ)を食べたけれど、味があまりなく、添えられいていたpepolataソース(赤ピーマンのソース)も不味かった。でも、パスタはまあまあいける。Penne alla Luganica (ペンネのスパイシー・イタリアン・ソーセージのソース和え)はなかなか美味しかったそうだ。食後のドリンクは、Cioccolata Fiorentina(チョッコラータ・フィオレンティーナ)。これはエスプレッソ用のデミタスに入ったドロドロのホットチョコレートで、かなり濃い。でも。ちょっと甘い物が食べたいけれど、ケーキまではちょっと、という時には、ちょうどいいかも。Mは、Carluccio’sはイタリアンらしからず、エスプレッソが今イチなのが不満だそうだ。


Since the month turned to November, you see the Christmas decoration all over the city – it makes me realize how fast time passes and makes me feeling a bit blue. Carluccio’s, where we had lunch today, also stacked up Christmas products such as Panettone and Pandoro on the store windows. This years’ Carluccio’s Christmas packages are sophisticatedly designed with traditional motif with modern touch. These products are also used as a decoration in the restaurant area and it looks fine, as the package design is pretty nice.

Carluccio’s is a British chain of Italian restaurants with integrated food shops, and operates in over 40 locations nationwide. The chain was founded in 1999 by Italian chef and food expert Antonio Carluccio and his wife Priscilla, who is a younger sister of Sir Terence Conran. The interior of the restaurant is colorful but a bit out of date and not the hippest place in town, and smells like a chain, like Starbucks. It is not a Michelin star restaurant and their food is OK, but we go once in a while when there is no decent restaurant around and we feel like Italian. Today I ordered Arancini di riso Siciliani (Sicilian style rice balls), but it had no taste and its red pepper sauce tasted bad. But their pastas are better, according to M. M’s Penne alla Luganica with spicy Italian sausage sauce was not bad at all. Cioccolata Fiorentina (thick hot chocolate served in an espresso cup) after the meal was good. It is perfect when you want something sweet but don’t want to have a big cake. M complained that their espresso is up to scratch for Italian standard.

It was said that Mr. Carluccio was suffering from depression. It was reported that he stabbed himself in the chest with a kitchen knife in September 2008, and has since admitted himself in to the psychiatric hospital in London. He is now 72 years old and it may be a good idea for him to retire and come back to his home country Italy for his sake – it may not help to stay in London with this depressive weather…

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