Quickly scanning their menu confirmed this fact so I arranged a babe date with some awesome people. Sadly, a lot of the group were ill so we ended up cancelling our booking on the day - the restaurant was very good about this - but I wasn't to be deterred. This weekend I finally made it to Amalthea Bistro and it was definitely worth the wait.
Everything is incredibly neat and the restaurant is actually much bigger than you'd think from seeing it from the outside. There's a lot of natural light, which has been made the most of, so that when we arrived in the late afternoon, the room was still lovely and bright.
The way it is decorated helped with this too, with the walls being painted white and the furniture teaming white and natural wood. Often I find white restaurants to be a bit stark, but the wooden features throughout - including the beams across the ceiling - were all warm wood so it had a lovely homey feel.
At the back of the restaurant, where most of the tables are, there is a nautical feel and the walls are decorated with seaside knickknacks and pictures, which always makes me feel a bit more at home. In comparison, the front of the store houses tidy shelves filled with delicious treats that you can buy to take home, including olive oil and honey.
When the whole party had arrived, it was time to dig into the menu. They have weekly specials, as well as the normal menu. The standard menu has a deal attached to it at certain times, so you can get a two or three course meal at a set price. This deal doesn't include all the dishes, but it does cover most of them so you get plenty of choice.
As my gastric band doesn't allow me to eat a lot, I ended up choosing two starters - the deep fried feta cheese that had initially caught my eye and melitzanokeftedes, which are fried aubergine balls with Cretan Kafalotiri cheese served with a smoked Mediterranean ketchup. Is your mouth watering yet?
In fact, the staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating, checking that we were okay, that we were happy with the food and whether we wanted any plates removed from the table. Happily everything was fine and the food was out of this world.
I didn't know what to expect with the aubergine balls because sometimes I love aubergine and other times it is a greasy mess. However, this dish just melted in my mouth and made me so happy. The balls had a lovely crunchy coating that gave way to a wonderfully soft and flavourful filling. The ketchup had a really delicious smokiness to it and tasted so fresh, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the rich cheese and aubergine. As I eat so slowly, this dish did go cold before I finished it, but it was still just as good as it was when it was hot.
The dish that I went to the restaurant for completely exceeded expectations. For starters, the feta was packed with flavour and was obviously a much better quality cheese than I've been able to get my hands on. The filo pastry was light and perfectly crisp, adding a great texture to the soft and melted cheese. The honey added just the right amount of sweetness to cut through the saltiness of the feta. I could happily have eaten this dish again if I wasn't so full by the time I finished.
In the end, I went for vanilla ice cream with black cherry, bitter almond and honey. I wasn't disappointed. For starters, I was served up three big scoops of high quality and delicious vanilla ice cream. This came with a healthy dollop of black cherries in a wonderfully fruity syrup and a nice drizzle of honey. I actually needed to tuck in so badly, I forgot to take a photo until I was almost through the first scoop of ice cream.
After the rich food and filling coffee, this was the perfect dessert as it was lovely and fresh while also being light but still indulgent. If you go for dessert at Amalthea Bistro and they ask if you want ice cream with it, pay the £1.20 extra and say yes because it is absolutely delicious.
I honestly haven't stopped telling everyone how badly they need to go to Amalthea Bistro for a meal and I stand by this. I would go again tomorrow, even if I was only allowed to order the exact same thing. In fact, if it was closer to the city centre, I would have taken my husband the next day (we ended up going somewhere else so look out for my next review). If you haven't been to Amalthea Bistro yet, I suggest you book a table and enjoy a fantastic meal as soon as possible.