Some time before ice cream season last year, Babe Daddy treated us to a family meal at Marine Ices.
The North London institution has been scooping out quality ices since 1931.
An Italian family business handed down through the generations, they pride themselves on serving all-natural ingredients, including their very famous fruit sorbets. They supply hundreds of businesses both locally and globally with their ice cream tubs and toppings.
Marine Ices has also built a reputation for good, home-style Italian cuisine. My husband had booked us a table for 6.30pm on a Saturday evening and at dinner, every other table had a family with young kids tucking into pizza or ice cream cones.
The setting’s quite relaxed and the walls are lined with plaques signed by pop stars, footballers and other celebrities.
We went all out and ordered a whole margerita pizza and a pasta carbonara for the babes to split. Then we each had a pasta dish – spaghetti meatballs for the mister, seafood pasta for me – followed up by a margherita pizza for sharing!
My linguine with scampi arrived swimming in a rich tomato, cream and wine sauce and I was soon greedily lapping it up. My OH was equally focused on his meatballs which were good and chunky, and well saucy – not like the dry, paltry morsels he’d complained about at the last place he ordered this dish.
After my pasta, I could only handle a couple of slices of Margherita pizza even though it was super tasty. I’m keen to try one of their pizzas with more toppings.
The boys were happily stuffing themselves with slices, and roundly ignoring their pasta. Ezra managed a few forkfuls of pasta but the portions are generous and they’d have been sorted with pizza alone.
OH had a taste of the carbonara and declared it ‘not as good as yours’ (hey, fuggedaboutit). Actually Spaghetti Carbonara is one of the dishes I often find disappointing in restaurants and haven’t ordered out in years.
By now, it was approaching 7.30 and you could tell the waiters were getting a bit antsy since we’d been told we should vacate our table for the next diners booked for 8pm. This in turn was making A antsy as he didn’t like to feel rushed. I was preparing myself for some kind of Nigerian-New Zealander vs. Italian-Brit stand-off, especially after they tried to move us to another table for dessert but we dug our heels in. Luckily the manager handled it smoothly!
OH went for his favourite dessert – Banana Split, while I chose a yummy sounding White Chocolate and Vanilla Sundae. Ezra hoovered down a milkshake (frothy, not too thick) while Jed, full of pizza, could only manage half his Vanilla cone.
Surprisingly dessert was a let-down for me. My sundae was covered in so much chocolate sauce that after I made it past the whipped cream and nuts, I could barely find the ice cream at the bottom of the glass.
All in all, we had an enjoyable if somewhat brisk visit to Marine Ices. I’m looking forward to going back to sample one of their delicious looking sundaes, although it seems the restaurant has changed management so it will be interesting to see if the food standard stays the same.
Marine Ices is open Tue-Sun at 8 Haverstock Hill, NW3 (Chalk farm tube). Tel: 0207 267 2776. Visit www.marineices.co.uk/restaurant.html