Posted 27th November 2010
For me, Cafe Amore provides a big, fat dose of nostalgia. First discovered whilst I was a student, courtesy of my good friend Laura (we still lunch there to this day!), I whiled away far too many hours there whilst I should have been studying. But enough of the reminiscing!
Cafe Amore is tucked away on Nelson Street, right in the city centre, and if you weren’t looking for it, you’d never find it. It’s a mysterious little place, not only due to its unassuming exterior, but also as try as you might, nobody seems to know an awful lot about it! The interior can only be described as higgledy-piggledy, with furniture crammed in on both floors to provide maximum seating, and the dark panelled walls are quite literally covered with retro posters and vintage signage. But the charm of this place is its quirkiness, and it only takes a lunchtime visit to realise that those who have discovered this little gem will just keep on coming, as the only downside to Amore is that it’s always packed.
Although the menu is essentially just your average lunch time fare (think sandwiches, salads, jackets and paninis), the choices are extensive, and incredibly reasonable. Everything is available to eat in or take away, and if you’re eating in, the ever helpful waiters will bring everything to your table. If I was to review everything I’d ever eaten at Amore we’d be here for hours, but the “must try list” runs a little something like this.
Amore paninis are really something else. They’re huge, and are often enough to be shared between two and whilst the classic ham, cheese and tomato option is everything you could ever want it to be, the more unusual combinations, such as tuna, red onion, cheese and sundried tomato are well worth a try. Jacket potatoes here, again, are immense. Served piping hot with a generous side salad, they provide all the standard fillings with a few more exotic options.
But the crowning glory here is, without a doubt, their lasagne. Unsurprisingly, the portions are massive-quite honestly the size of a dinner plate, and come with a baguette and butter. Now it might not be the most authentic Italian lasagne, but the ragu is rich, tasty and perfectly seasoned, and is absolutely smothered in the creamiest, ooziest béchamel sauce you will ever have-it is most definitely NOT diet friendly, but is a real must for a naughty weekend lunch.
And finally, I couldn’t write a review about Amore without including their legendary hot chocolates. On bringing my boyfriend here for the first time, he was so utterly confused by the bizarre interior arrangement, but so completely won over by the fantastic hot chocolate, and it’s an understatement to call him a chocolate fiend. I’ll admit, after having MeMe Chocolat’s Ultimate Hot Chocolate, Amore’s will never taste quite so rich and chocolatey, but they definitely come in a close second. Served in huge mugs, topped with whipped cream and crowned with a Cadbury’s Flake, what more could you want after a cold afternoon’s Christmas shopping, or a heavy morning at work. Absolute bliss!
14 Nelson Street