Sunday, March 27

Artichoke Cafe & Bar

Hello everyone! (:

I think this weekend's been particularly good because I finally managed to do things that I like such as going for an unexpectedly nice high tea buffet this afternoon (I'll blog more about it in a couple of weeks)!

Life has been pretty hectic since I returned from the UK and I think things are going to stay this way or get even crazier till the end of term so I shall hang in there and brave it all! =)

Today, I shall blog about one of the new cafe/ restaurants that my good friend introduced me to - Artichoke. It's located at 161 Middle Road, which is near the National Library. If you ask me, it's probably one of the best restaurants that I've been to this year as everything seems to be just right: the food is reasonably priced and scrumptious and the layout and ambience of the place is homely and comfortable (:

If you think that Artichoke only serves vegetarian food because of its unique restaurant name, you're wrong because it actually serves a whole variety of dishes that are infused with a taste of homemade goodness.

My dinner companions, who have been to Artichoke before, highly recommended their tapas so we decided to order a few to share.

The first tapas dish we ordered was the moorish dips ($15) and they came with two slices of warm and crispy bread. These dips reminded me of the platter that I thoroughly enjoyed at Original Sin and I would say that the dips at Artichoke are comparable to Original Sin's. I could eat this everyday and not get sick of it! =)

Because the two slices of bread weren't sufficient for the four of us, we decided to order one of their special dishes that day. Unfortunately, I've forgotten what it's called but the dish can be used as an alternative for dips!

Here's a shot of our special 'prata/ crepe - like' alternative for dips. It is neither too oily nor too thin so it's perfect for dipping actually.

Then we shared some grilled haloumi cheese with cherry tomatoes ($15). It was the first time I was eating grilled cheese as a dish and I must say that the taste is something quite exquisite - I didn't think that grilled cheese could taste that light! The cherry tomatoes definitely gave it a little twang and I liked the combination a lot.

Since their garlic mushrooms ($13) are also famed to be good, we placed an order for it and it turned out to be one of the freshest mushroom-rocket leaves salad that I've tasted! If you like rocket leaves with succulent and fresh mushrooms, you have to order this dish!

This tiny basket of shoestring fries ($7) was undoubtedly the most convenient mouth-popper that night! All of us couldn't help but indulge in these skinny strips of truffle-covered potato goodness! Highly addictive, highly sinful but they're just so good!

For our mains, we decided to order their famous lamb kleftiko ($65), which was stunningly done because the meat literally slid off the bone without much trouble! I tried a few gravy soaked bread pieces and I must say that the sauce that came with the lamb was of the right consistency and taste! Everyone loved this dish so I guess it did live up to its reputation after all (:

My dinner mates were extremely considerate and they made it a point to order a huge plate of vegetarian moussaka ($25) to share! It tasted similar to vegetable lagsane but it was more cheesy. I liked this dish a lot and I think I'd a little too much of it because I was feeling a little cheesed out by the end of the meal. This dish is great for sharing and I think it goes pretty well with the lamb dish too.

Although I felt really stuffed after we've cleared our mains, the glutton in me couldn't resist ordering their desserts because I felt that it would be a waste to walk away without tasting their desserts! We placed an order for their very interesting date pudding ($12), which had a tinge of saltiness to complement its sweetness and it had a moat around it! This was by far the most interesting date pudding that I've tasted. I would highly recommend it!

The other dessert we ordered was the pear and almond cake ($10) which was relatively light compared to the date pudding. The cake was neither too hard nor too crumbly and all of us sang praises about it too.

In short, I am extremely thankful to my wonderful dinner partners who introduced me to Artichoke. It's definitely a place that I would return to in the near future! =) Alright that's all for now, take care everyone! (:

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