Sunday, 23 February 2014

Amici Miei - Shoreditch, London

I had Italian lessons once. Perhaps not helped by my copy of the textbook being twenty years out-of-date - Steffi Graf and Pavarotti having been replaced by David Beckham and Rihanna in the game 'Name the celebrity' - I learnt piacere, and that's all. Buying Crocodile Dundee on DVD would have been better value. Luckily, I'm well practiced in the technique of pointing like a monkey at the food I'd like to eat. And regardless of what the constantly winking waitress thought, I wasn't on a date, even if the girl in question does have form for leaving me waiting in restaurants like a stood-up singleton. This time she was ten minutes late. More fuel to the fire of revenge. I've decided on a speedboat through her wedding cake. James Bond style.

Amici Miei on Kingsland Road was where I sat alone. I ordered myself a glass of pin-ot grig-ee-o and decided on a delis-ater pizza. Pronunciation, perfect. This is not the place to sit alone. A small sea of tables for two, candles twinkling, with barely enough light for an Instagram shot and a large glass window exposes diners to the street outside. For the single man, there is nowhere to hide. People pass and gawp, their expressions cracked with sympathy for the lone zoo animal. I point like a monkey, eat like a monkey, and look like one devoid of any companionship too. She's in big trouble. That speedboat is going to take out the altar, vicar, groom, and the father of the bride.

Pregnant style cravings have seen me wolf-down pizzas galore across the capital in the past month. Amici Miei rates highly amongst those. Crispy base, ample mushrooms, and for a pizza with no tomato (my fault for not checking the small print), not too dry. The night was all about the pudding though. Perhaps not sweet enough for my childish tastes, but the polenta cake with custard was a properly good pudding, one that a monkey like me can dig at with a spoon and not feel the least bit conscious about. Custard dribbling down my chin and the second spoon stolen to prevent her from joining in, the waitress shook her head as she cleared the clean bowl away. This would have been one date not progressing to a second. It's fine, I'll find a girl who isn't late and come back again.

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