Jacqui – Jan 2016
There are some items of clothing that scream “buy me” the minute you see them. You get them home, you wear them immediately and whenever you get the chance. They’re bang on trend, for a little while at least, but after the initial honeymoon period they get pushed further and further back in the cupboard. Then there are other items of clothing that are versatile, always standing the test of time. Those classic wardrobe staples may get worn occasionally, but never go out of fashion. La Cucina to me is like one of those wardrobe staples… Read the review in full
Becca – Jul 2011
At the end of every academic year, my work celebrate our survival with an end of term lunch for all the staff, all four of us and our partners. This time we decided to go to La Cucina in St Clements. Originally, we’d planned to go to the Red Lion in Gloucester Green but due to time restraints we needed something closer to the office – I was a little peeved by this as I’d already perused the Red Lion menu and in my mind, I’d pre-ordered the scallop starter followed by the gammon with baked peaches. Anyway, La Cucina it was and as it was all free, I wasn’t going to grumble.
Tuesday was one of the hottest and muggiest days this year and that was the first thing that put me off – seated in the back, where there’s no air conditioning and the windows only open a sliver. Plenty of iced water was supplied though and they let us keep our menus to use as fans!
I ordered the deep fried calamari with lemon & chive mayo for a starter and it was wonderful. Hot, crispy, succulent and a good zesty mayonnaise. Polished it off in seconds!
Matt ordered the salad of tiger prawns and crab with a citrus and chilli dressing. The crab came as a little timbale, with a good mix of brown and white meat. The prawns had the body shell removed but still had their heads and tails attached. He says all the meat was moist and flavoursome but would have liked a smidge more chilli in the dressing…
All of the other attendees had pretty much the same starters as us! We ordered a bottle of Orvieto Classico, which went down very well. So well, we ordered another!
As it was so warm, I wanted to go for something light for my main course and ordered the spaghetti casareccia – long spaghetti with chilli, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and olive oil. The pasta was lovely, the flavours were fresh and colourful – again, as a chilli freak I would have liked more! And I wasn’t convinced by the addition of breadcrumbs. I can understand the reasoning behind them – to add a different texture to the large portion of fairly plain pasta but think it may be better with lightly toasted breadcrumbs rather than the soft and slightly soggy ones.
Matt was a bit more adventurous than me and ordered the papardelle with a rich duck and red wine sauce. Good pasta, tender slivers of duck, not such a rich sauce. I was quite jealous of one of my colleagues, he ordered the pork belly with roast potatoes from the specials board and that looked amazing.
My boss also ordered from the specials board – whiting fillet wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of couscous – the prosciutto was a sliver on top of the very flavoursome fish and the couscous was more like pearl barley than the Ainsley Harriott kind!
Nobody wanted dessert, but I can’t go to an Italian restaurant without having a tiramisu! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo until I’d scoffed most of it – it was very good….
All in all, a pretty successful lunch. Not in a great rush to go back to La Cucina but happy to go meet friends there or another free work do!