With the recent headlines of pizza express and halal food hitting the papers, the idea of a halal Italian was somewhat an ideal place to go to eat at. So, introducing Amina D’Italia, situated on mile end Road, Stepney green. From the outside, there’s not much indication that the restaurant serves halal food, I feel like they are missing a trick, as finding specialist halal Italian food Is rather rare. I feel they could of at least of a clear to see halal sign or a advertising board on the street, as the restaurant does get easily lost among the many shops surrounding it.
Inside, is a somewhat small and cosy sitting, wooden logs on the walls and an attempt to create a romantic scene. However on my visit the restaurant was empty, i mean not a soul. Arriving after 7 on a Tuesday evening I found this a rather ominous omen.
My visit to Amina D’Italia was thanks to Zomato who provided me with a gift card to dine here. The menu had a good selection of starters and main courses, which made ordering a time consuming affair, however for starters we were recommended to try a platter of assorted starters, so that’s what we went for.
So here comes the main part of my review.. The food. Starters included the usual suspects, in fact there were loads of different small pieces of party finger food. Mozzarella sticks, Mozzarella balls ( i think) Salmon bruschetta, tomato bruschetta..The problem I had was that the selection was comparable to a tray of party nibbles that you can buy ready to pop in the oven from Iceland. It was nothing special, the selection was wide and to be honest we were rather full on just the starters. The good point was that I think it was value for money based on the quantity of food, but lacked quality.
At this point my friend and I were full and after this average selection of food were reluctant to order more. However, at this point we hadn’t ate any meat. The selling point of coming here was the Halal factor, so i decided to try 2 classics, lasagna and spag bol with meat balls.
This is where sadly things changed. Now, I know as someone that’s likes their spice, Italian food is maybe not the most obvious cuisine of choice to excite my taste buds, but I do appreciate food that makes good use of ingredients to bring out flavours . I sometimes cook these dishes at home and know that the power and heartbeat these dishes comes from the sauce. Make a good sauce and the rest falls into place. On this occasion, myself and my friend could only stomach one and I mean just one spoon on each each.
I found the lasagna lacking any flavour or depth. I don’t enjoy lambasting food, but I really didn’t take any pleasure in eating this tasteless and bland dish. I have to make the frozen food ready meal comparison again, despite looking nice, this lasagne wasn’t up to any standard that I would like. The same went for the spag bol. Both dishes were underwhelming and disappointing. I was expecting the food to carry a slightly increased “Indian style” of flavor, by this I mean the use of extra spice or chillies, due to the fact that Anima D’Italia is from what I saw a Bangladeshi run restaurant with Bangladeshi staff. But, it just proved to show that perhaps they should stick to making traditional foods and leave the Italian food to a specialist.
Overall, I feel Anima D’Italia had a lot of potential, but the lack of patrons at the time I visited was a clear Indication of quality of food of and their popularity. Me and my friend were actually a little sad that the place was so empty. This place could be doing so much better in terms of the number of customers, it could be because it was a Tuesday?
There is a lot of room for improvement. I’ll let you decide if I’m being harsh, however after comparing notes with other friends who have visited the views are ones that echo mine.