Caffé Uno, Charing Cross Road, London

Cafe Uno is an Italian place on Charing Cross road near Leicester Square station. Peering in through the window, one doesn't see too many customers inside. The menu looks inviting, so I enter.

It looks like any other Italian place. The decor is nice. Yellow walls and interesting motifs on tiles on the wall. Everything hinting at its mediterranean origin. Breadsticks and olives await you at the table.

The menu has several interesting items, and I settle on a Penne dish with Bacon. The Salmon sounds good too.

The large number of single tables suggests that this place probably caters to many couples or singles and not to too many large groups. The distribution of people at the time seemed to support this theory.

My dish arrives. The waitress grinds pepper and parmesan over it and I dig in. A side order of garlic bread to accompany me.

The pasta is nothing special. I've made similar tasting dishes myself, and I'm no mean cook. The garlic bread was wanting in several aspects. On the whole, I keep thinking to myself - "Should have tried the Salmon", but then I'm not sure if that would have been too different. They don't advertise any areas of specialisation, so I assume everything on the menu is a special.

Blues rates it:
Food - Okay
Service - Prompt
Price - Reasonable by London's standards
Ambience - Pretty
Overall - Not worth it

Recommendation - On the whole, I wouldn't suggest going here.

Getting there:
It's at 24 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0BJ


Abeno Too - Leicester Square, London

Abeno TooAbeno Too is a small Japanese restaurant just off Charing Cross Road at Leicester Square. The cooking area is in the centre of the restaurant, with a large table surrounding it. Smaller tables are arranged along the large window.

The seats double as storage boxes, or are they storage boxes used as seats? You decide. We placed our coats and bags in the boxes and then sat at the table. Our waiter/chef for the day cooked our meal on the table in front of us.

I'm not quite sure of all that he put into it, but it was a large mix of pork, seafood, eggs and vegetables cooked together into a pancake. I can only say that it tasted interesting. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't like anything I'd tasted before. The side order of shrimp was tasty.

Our waiter was quite friendly and helpful, though he didn't speak too much English. He helped with suggestions telling us what was good and what we might not have liked.

I would go back and try some of the other dishes they have on order, but mostly because of how friendly the staff are.

Blues rates it:
Food - interesting
Service - friendly
Price - reasonable
Ambience - bright
Overall - Nice place

Recommendation - Go there if you happen to notice it.

Getting there:
17-18 Great Newport Street,
London, England

Tel: 020 7379 1160