Food cooked with passion
The passion for food that people who run this place have comes across the moment you walk in. It was the name that got me curious about the restaurant. It made me reminisce about my visit to the majestic Golconda Fort in Hyderabad. Ever the dsylesic that I am, turns out that it was actually a reference to Mona Lisa.
The restaurant is tiny with a sombre dark decor, which gives it a stylish feel. The menu seem like someone with a distinctive Anglo-Saxon no nonsense touch adapted a upmarket brasserie menu and fitted it in this tiny space. For a cover charge of 1.50, you get olives and unlimited supply of sparkling water in a carafe. There are reassuring number of specials of the day. 3 different fish of the day, a meat grill of the day, a risotto of the day and a sorbet of the day. The wine list is particularly good with a wide variety of reasonably priced wine that are really good value for the money. Three course dinner for two with a half a bottle of wine should work out to about 75 quid.
On my two visits to The Giaconda Room, I have had Marinade of Raw Salmon with Fennel & Cucumber, Cervelle de Canut, Roast Rack of Lamb and their Lemon Sole with capers, which was one of the specials of the day. I have tried their Prosecco di Conegliano Cantina Bernardi and Cotes du Ventoux Mas de Fondreche (2009), both extremely good value for money. There have been no disappointments in the food department. The only disappointment I have had is calling on Monday and finding that it closed from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning. A place where the people take a long weekend seems quirky in the London but in a very appealing way.
Open Tuesday to Saturday lunch. 9 Denmark Street, London WC2 H8LS. 0207 240 3334.