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Wide range of food perfect for group of friends

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The Blue Legume – a favourite with many who have sampled its menu in Islington and Stoke Newington – has decided to venture further west to open its latest branch.

More specifically to a little corner of Crouch End where its arrival appears to have been welcomed by locals, who trickled in throughout the evening for a mix of drinks – of the non-alcoholic kind – and dinner on a sunny Wednesday evening.

It was easy to see what was attracting them. The bright interior and friendly staff are an immediate draw and, of course, the menu.

Its wide range – including a notable number of vegetarian options – means it is unlikely a group of friends would not be able to find something they fancied.

The details

The Blue Legume 130 Crouch Hill, Crouch End, N8 9DY Tube: Finsbury Park or Archway Tel: 020 8442 9282 Web: www.thebluelegume.co.uk

Mains: From £8.95 Children welcome: Yes Disabled access: Yes, but no toilet

As someone with a number of vegetarian friends, this would probably make it top of my list of choices for a group dinner, not least because it is somewhere to come when you want to while away a couple of hours over a nice, sociable meal – it is certainly not fast food. Do not expect to be in and out within half an hour. This, for the record, is no negative point.

Unfortunately, my (small) negative point was probably the food which was – and it pains me to say this – a little bland in places.

My mixed meze starter – enough for two – was nice and fresh, but nothing out of the ordinary. My friend’s chorizo and halloumi was a little dry but quite tasty. Both were beautifully presented.

The stuffed aubergine with roasted vegetables, rice and salad was absolutely lovely – apart from the lack of dressing on my salad. My friend was impressed by the size of his steak and the quality of chips but disappointed by the sauce, which was not overly tasty.

We both agreed afterwards a little more dressing, a little more seasoning and it would have been an almost perfect meal.

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