"Pan-Asian specialties with influences from Goa mixed with Indian street food"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Restaurants attached to hotels can so often be a bit of a letdown - not so Assado, on the ground floor of Waterloo’s Hampton by Hilton. The brainchild of Saturday Kitchen favourite Cyrus Todiwa-la, Assado combines some of his signature pan-Asian specialties with influences from Goa mixed with Indian street food.
The restaurant itself is spacious, big even, and does have something of a hotel feel about it, rather than being a cosy, intimate space like many London Indians. Having said that, it is refreshing to have space in which to dine rather than being practically in the lap of those seated next to you.
We started with a portion of the Assado pork puff, minced spiced pork & chorizos baked in puff pastry, served with a delicious makhani sauce, alongside some lamb samosas with tamarind dip and a bowl of marinated olives (a little too marinated for my liking). Upon the recommendation of the waitress I plumped for the chicken caldeen for my main - an Assado speciality of chicken breast in a mild, coconut and cashew sauce flavoured with whole spices. Nice and gentle (I’m not so great with the chilli…) it was creamy, succulent and very moreish, while a garlic naan was just the ticket for mopping up.
My friend tried the belly of pork assado, slow cooked and spiced - Goan Portuguese style - and served with a chilli garlic risotto. While pleasant enough she did comment that there was perhaps a little less pork and a little more fat than she was used to, but overall the flavour was lovely and the risotto a pleasantly flavoured alternative to a plain boiled rice.
The dessert menu is definitely one to keep space for - the Bebinca sounded delicious (a multi-layered Goan style baked pan-cake, made in a coconut milk-based batter) but we decided on the heavenly trio of ice creams - coconut and cardamom, cinnamon and honey and salted caramel - it’s worth going just for those.
On the whole the Assado menu is definitely a step up from the standard curry houses of London; for a something a little different it’s worth a visit.
Laurel reviewed Assado on Thu 04 Aug 2016