The circumstances that brought Tel Aviv chef Maoz Alonim to Cambridge may not be food related but it was inevitable that he would eventually open a restaurant and contribute to our flourishing foodie scene. Alonim is one of Israel’s most famous chefs renowned the world over for founding Basta in 2007, a small restaurant and wine bar in proximity to Carmel Market. With produce straight from the market’s stallholders only a few steps away, the menu changes daily (sometimes twice a day) and consists of main headings with handwritten dish updates. This is Alonim’s concept… a creative menu led by fresh, seasonal ingredients paired with an impressive wine list. And this is precisely what he has brought to The Kingston Arms, located just off Cambridge’s vibrant and diverse Mill Road.
Always one to defy expectations, Alonim defines The Kingston Arms as Kitchen, Hummus and Wine. He has even gone so far as having the serving presentation designed for their hummus and pita, a clever combo of zisha (Yixing clay) bowls with a round cork cover that doubles as a board for the pita. More on the amazing hummus later!
This independent pub is a real food and wine lovers’ gem. The interior is warm and inviting, with tables by the windows and back door as well as bar seating for perhaps a more wine or beer focused experience. There is a large walled garden with heaters that is pretty much rain proof, a definite advantage for a business that opened during the pandemic. The staff are so friendly and welcoming and there are knowledgeable sommeliers for their well curated wine list.
UPDATE: This business is closed and has been replaced with a similar restaurant.
There’s a welcome addition to Mill Road in Cambridge and that’s Lagona, a new Lebanese restaurant offering good, reasonably priced food. The location used to house Jaffa Net Café but now it’s a bright, cheerful restaurant that includes a separate shisha area at the back, if that’s your sort of thing. A little something for everyone… to me, that’s what Mill Road is all about.
Lagona opened fairly recently, in July 2016, and judging from the steady stream of customers, word has already gotten out that this is a must-visit. They don’t have a website and have very little social media presence so their custom is basically all word of mouth. That’s a good thing! I recommend this place for a casual, relaxed lunch or dinner. The portions are generous and service is friendly and helpful.
We did encounter some minor problems but not anything that would deter us from returning. I believe the issues stemmed from being rushed in the kitchen, perhaps due to it being busy that evening. I have to say that the staff were excellent in dealing with our complaint and quickly rectified the issue. More on that later.
After an impressive visit at Delifonseca‘s café bar on Stanley Street, my husband Paulo and I decided to pop into Delifonseca’s Dockside location for lunch and a spot of shopping on our way out of Liverpool. It is housed in a colourful and functional building on Brunswick Quay with the added advantage of ample free parking.
The deli caught my eye as soon as I entered… so many lovely displays of delights as far as the eye could see. I was tempted to turn right and keep exploring but hunger beckoned. We were greeted warmly and guided to a table in the restaurant section at the left. We had a great table by the window and settled in the comfy chairs as we perused the menus at the table and on the chalkboards.
Delifonseca is the beautiful café bar downstairs from celebrated restaurant Fonseca’s on Stanley Street in Liverpool. This was the perfect place for an afternoon break as we only wanted a few nibbles, not a sit-down lunch. This area used to be the restaurant’s deli but it has been converted into a chilled-out wine bar, complete with upcycled red velvet theatre chairs, elegant chandeliers, embossed copper bar and ornate metal stools. It is also a café offering freshly made sandwiches, soups, salads and various items from the mini deli counter, to eat-in or take-away. The deli counter, although small, is visually appealing and boasts a fresh and colourful display of the delicacies on offer.