Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Princi, 29th March

Third time's the charm as they so, and so it was with my day of indulgence on Thursday when I ate at Princi.

I've walked by Princi on many occasions, my eyes wide at the baked goods on show, though I had not yet been inside. This time, I was meeting a friend there and so entered to see the full array of Italian confections on show. I can imagine my eyes growing round as saucers as I looked at the array before me. 

I was a little early though, so I grabbed a couple of seats towards the back. It had been a very hot day, and Princi was quite warm, no doubt because of the number of people creating body heat, and the wood fire they have at the back, presumably for baking their bread and pizzas. At the back, there was a sort of water feature, which I thought might keep us a little cool.

Princi was lively when I arrived and positively bustled the whole time we were in there. It is, in all honesty, a little bit confusing. Waiters zip around all over the place and when I sat down, one of them came to take my order. I just ordered a diet coke while I was waiting, thinking I'd eat when my friend got there. So you would think that, should you wish, you could order food from your waiter. Especially when they keep the tab open for you to add to it later. But this is not how Princi works - the waiters deal with drinks only. If you want food it's counter service and you have to go up to order and take your food. 

Princi does savoury food as well, but as you might have guessed, I wasn't very interested in that today. After having eaten a whole pizza and some ice cream, I didn't think I should eat a full meal as well, or another pizza. Princi offers pizza and focaccias with things on them, as well as some pasta dishes and soups if that's what you fancy. But the real star of the show has to be the sweet treats that you can enjoy in there, or take away. 

Lots of people take advantage of this takeaway option. Unfortunately for me, everyone in the queue ahead of me seemed to be ordering copious numbers of cakes to take back to their Italian families (or maybe themselves). Yes, quite a lot of Italians were in there, and it's an Italian place, so that can't be a bad thing. Eventually I forced myself to make a decision and opted for the deliciosa al mascarpone, but I also got a couple of cannoncini to take away. 

The deliciosa did exactly what it said - it was delicious. Basically a cream cake made with mascarpone, so verging on cheesecake, heavier than a normal cream cake, with some candied orange, which hinted at the flavours of panetonne, but without raisins and sultanas, which I don't like, and instead a layer of chocolate on the top. Yum. This was a main event and a little bit pricey at about £4.50.

The cannoncini, which I shared with Stephen when I got home were only £1.10 a pop and also delicious. These are sweet flaky pastry horns, filled with custard cream, with sugary crunch sprinkled on them. They're very good and there will definitely be more of them in my future.

What I also liked about Princi, though, was the fact that even though it was pretty busy, we were able to linger in there for the whole evening. I'd ordered only a diet coke and one cake, my friend had ordered a coffee (and a canonncini) and yet it was three hours before they asked if we would like another drink (a polite way I think of saying we ought to get something, or get out). 

I'd like to say I'll come back to try out the pizza/pasta on offer, but with cakes like pistachio and peach; toffee, lemon and chocolate; and ricotta cheesecake, I think I will find it very difficult to walk past the desserts to the kitchen at the back.

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  1. O & I went there recently for a quick takeaway snack before a theatre thing, and it was very good! I'll need to go back again after your review :)

  2. Yes do - maybe we can go together next time you're up!


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