Sunday 2nd March 2014

Number 1 (okay – only) daughter and her husband visited this weekend from their home in The Smoke and it was decided we’d go out for lunch today. So where to go? A decision that gets ever trickier as the eating options in Swindon have improved greatly in recent times. I wanted to stay in the town centre area because I intended to pay a return visit to the vintage/retro festival being held over this weekend. A stunning and impressive event I have to say. Our favourite Indian restaurant, Rangoli, isn’t open Sunday lunchtimes so I settled on La Carbonara. They hadn’t been there at all and I haven’t been for ages – and it was as good as I remembered.

There’s been a trend in recent years for restaurants to go all contemporary and Brasserie in decor. Well that’s all very well and good I suppose but there’s nothing like a bit of cheesy kitsch in a restaurant decor. Personally – I love it. Bring back flock wallpapers in curry houses! Anyway, La Carbonara offers kitsch in bucket loads with the red checked cloths, the raffia-bound Chianti bottles with candles in and the Italian tri-colour flag all over the place. It’s great!  But, more importantly, the food is good too. The service is friendly, the prices are reasonable and the portions are large. What’s not to like?

It being lunch-time we didn’t bother with starters as we didn’t want to be over-stuffed for the rest of the day. Hmmm. So much for that plan. As soon as we got sat down a bowl of olives was put on the table – a nice touch and it doesn’t always happen. Olivio’s take note – just to say though that I had a very tasty pulled pork Chimichanga in there – I just thought £2.50 for a bowl of olives a bit much. Though it was a good sized bowl full.

My son-in-law is Indian hence is used to having a variety of dishes at a meal rather than just the one plateful so he interestingly opted to have two starter plates of spaghetti – one with Bolognese and one with Carbonara. Starter plates? They were big portions. Unsurprisingly he slept all afternoon!

My daughter and I both opted for the Vitello. Mine with Gorgonzola sauce and hers Milanese. There was a big portion of saute potatoes – really enough for two – and a nice portion of vegetables too.

Living in London my daughter and son-in-law have access to every cuisine you can imagine – and a fair amount of it is to be found on Streatham High Road. But what you don’t necessarily get there is big portions. Well La Carbonara comes up trumps there for sure so make sure you’ve got a good appetite.

I didn’t study the prices in detail as I wasn’t paying. 🙂  But I think it was all reasonable enough. Nor can I comment on the dessert menu as we were too full to think about it and anyway, I’m not hugely a dessert person. I’d rather have more meat!

So all in all a very enjoyable Sunday lunch and I’ll try not to leave it so long before I go again.

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