Mocca Coffee Shop, It replaced Fosters. Easy to tell.

A Review of Moca, coffee shop and deli in Blackheath Standard

I have been neglecting Moca: I visit. I eat at Moca with friends who ask me if this will appear in the blog … and somehow it never does.

 

Perhaps this is because it took me ages to actually try the coffee. It’s never been a coffee moment when I land there. It feels unjust for a coffee blogger to opine without actually trying the coffee.

Or maybe I just can’t think of anything to say about it. it’s neither ‘out there’ or ‘back here’.

It’s at a sort of at a moderate distance.

Actually, they do serve Portuguese tarts. Portuguese tarts are great.

Actually, they do serve Portuguese tarts. Portuguese tarts are great.

I can provide a brief history of Mocca. Moca replaced Foster’s. It’s easy to tell: it now has a big shiny red banner instead of a run down yellow banner. However more importantly, this change in ownership replaced peculiar little polystyrene cups with some frothy brown and white stuff in with cappuccinos, REAL cappuccinos and lattes. I don’t quite understand why they used to be so bad because the last owners were Italian and did have a propa cappa maka. But I do have the absolute recollection of actually binning a cappuccino from Foster’s one cold morning.

Well, I can assure you all that the change in ownership means that everything has undergone a thorough upgrade, with smart brown seats and semi-deli provisions. I think they even use butter on their sandwiches now. The sandwiches are nice. There are freshly squeezed juices of all mixes on demand and flatbreads with interesting fillings. In fact all of the savoury offerings have proved enjoyable, served by the upbeat staff, albeit in occasionally freezing conditions (because they open the back door to cool down the kitchen).

Moca Interior

Moca Interior

I recently discovered the another reason why I had not reviewed Mocca. Other than the litle bite sized italian sweets, the cakes are nothing special. And cakes are meant to be special, right? Even if you are a Victoria Sponge eater (and I judge you not for your undemanding taste buds) the very name, Victoria (that’s Victoria as in big time monarch of the British empire- wore lots of big dresses) implies special. You don’t want to look at the cake counter and think, yeah well maybe next time. And I do at Mocca. I feel adequately nourished for lunch, and walk away thinking, at least the waistline hasn’t grown.

Two more great places for coffee and more at Blackheath Standard.. With reviews
The Scullery http://wp.me/p2yXJS-gd
Mara interiors http://wp.me/p2yXJS-c7

Mocca Coffee Shop, It replaced Fosters. Easy to tell.
A Review of Moca, coffee shop and deli in Blackheath Standard I have been neglecting Moca: I visit. I eat…

Cliffs of Pork Belly – A Review of Venice Restaurant in Blackheath

A Review of Venice, Italian Restaurant in Blackheath.

I was drinking peppermint tea in The Railway pub when I thought to myself: I’d like to visit Venice tonight. Now please don’t make the mistake that I made with fellow tweeters of thinking that I mean the second most cannalled city in Europoe (the first being Birmingham. No really. Google it), a mistake so unfortunate it read like a bad joke and attracted a number of “boom booms”… I mean the new Italian restaurant that replaced the other new Italian restaurant, that replaced the Indian, that replaced the Tibetan which replaced Flame Bar… Which I believe (before my time) replaced a Natwest bank. (I may have missed some steps here).

Venice was pretty empty. We sat alone amongst the plastic vines desceding from the ceiling. The courses were generously sized. We started with sardines to share…. Of which came 4- nicely mariantated and quite impressive, and made us wonder what was yet to come.

Sardines

Sardines

Venice Interior

Venice Interior

Which was cliffs of pork belly. I do mean cliffs. Take a look.

Pork belly at Venice

Pork belly at Venice

And I would like to add that it was poor perspective on the iPhone that makes the accompanying veg and potatoes look vaguely relative in size. Still, unlike your average penny-squeezing bistro, the sides came free with the mains.

I chose king prawns in spaghetti with chilli and basil. Hard to get wrong, right? Some bright fresh ingredients that are guaranteed to taste good… Or in the case of Venice taste really really bland. Ok I fished out a chilli, so unless it was disguised horse meat all of the key ingredients technically featured in the dish. But they did not taste of anything. Not even garlic. In fact, after sampling the pork belly which was rich with garlic and rosemary, I couldn’t really face returning to the pasta. It felt like a waste of calories if you know what I mean…

Prawns, basil, Chilli

Prawns, basil, Chilli

So the verdict on the mains is really rather confused: excellent and dull at the same time. I was chided by the waitress for explaining my feeling on the prawns on invitation, rather than before I had finished.

Now I do like Italian desserts. One of my issues with the recent branding of Pizza Express is that it neglects the Italian dessert menu. There were some tempting offerings on the Venice menu, and I spent a while deciding between cannolo and cassata, only to be told they were both out of stock. So was Tartuffe. We were left with profiteroles, tart tatin and treacle sponge. We…ll at least the first 2 were from the same land mass as Italy. (Although not Sicily where most of the desserts were actually intended to originate from.) Fortunately we were rescued from just having an amaretto shot at home by spotting semi-freddo, but it wasn’t really what we’d had in mind.

Semi Freddo

Semi Freddo

Service was very friendly, although an inability in to wipe the table after it was pointed out that the dessert menus had landed in gravy was a little cringe-worthy. Does anyone else feel uptight about dessert when they know that forks, elbows and fingers are centimetres from landing in gravy? The pizza man was also very helpful, he was dressed for cooking, rather than waiting and looked a little apprehensive when he noticed we were searching for a coffee when he was the only member of staff left- but met the challenge abley and charmingly, delivering a bitter and rich blend that we much enjoyed.

1-3 Lee Road, SE3 9RQ