Review: Amico Bio does seem to be a paradox when one reads the reviews. This was our (my vegan wife and I) second visit and we have been disappointed both times. The first time was a couple of years ago so, since we were visiting the Barbican, we thought that we would try it again, particularly in light of the recent good reviews. The first thing to say is that it is a very attractive restaurant with a real Italian feel and in one of those lovely historical London back streets, ironically close to Smithfield meat market. I think what the owners are trying to do is to create a vegetarian version of Italian food, so I guess to have the real experience, one should go through the whole menu with starter, pasta, main and dessert, accompanied by suitable wines. We both started with deep fried cauliflower. It was very greasy, probably because the oil was not at the right temperature. The accompanying salad was too salty, which I suppose is authentically Italian but not to our taste. The main courses: I had something called Seitan kebab, which was like a bready spring roll full of plain vegetables. My wife had aubergines but they were again greasy. Neither dish showed any sort of imagination. For dessert, we had home-made vegan ice-cream, which was fine; in fact, the chocolate was very good indeed. To accompany all this, we had a bottle of house white wine, which was perfectly acceptable on a hot summer evening. So, I just do not know what to make of those reviews that say it is the best vegetarian restaurant they have been to - there is a better one (Carnevale) just a few minutes walk away. But, it does seem reasonably popular and it does have a great atmosphere. But the other part of the paradox is that many reviews say it is expensive: we had 3 course each plus wine and the bill was under fifty pounds, which is inexpensive by London standards. Perhaps there are really two places, one expensive and attractive and the other cheap and not so pleasant. I should go to the former if I were you!
Posted by LaraJames on Thursday, April 11, 2013