The Giaconda Dining Room opened just a couple of months ago in an unlikely street that is better known for its guitar shops than its cuisine. When I first read about this new restaurant I moved it straight to the top of the to-do list, mainly as the chef/owner is an Aussie who had a very good name in the Sydney dining scene a few years back.
On arrival the greeting from the lovely French waitress was friendly, and continued to be so throughout the meal. She was charming, and did nice things like, for example, telling me not to bother ordering extra salad as a serve came with one of the other dishes and would be enough for two.
The décor in the small dining room is fairly plain, with the tiny kitchen to the rear. Toilets are downstairs and are not nice - obviously weren't renovated before the Giaconda Dining Room opened. They could at least buy a toilet seat that fits.
A 'cover charge' of £1 per person is charged which covers the bread and unlimited water - this was good value for us as we drank a few carafes of sparking water, and ordinarily we would order a couple of bottles anyway.
Favorite Dish: The food is a mix of French/British/European, with a great sounding menu making the ordering process difficult. The three of us couldn't decide on which starter to order, so we ordered three to share - the Shellfish Bisque; the "Boneless (almost!) & Crisped Pigs Trotters" (as it is written on the menu); and the special of the day, Foie Gras with green bean salad. The bisque was flavoursome, the pigs trotters were a little bland. The foie gras was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
For main course we had the Ham Hock Hash; the Rib Eye with chips and salad; and the Crisp Roast Salmon with deconstructed piccalilli. The Ham Hock Hash was the favourite. Desserts had to be sampled, and we opted for the Chocolate Truffle cake with coffee sauce; and the Tiramisu. Both were very rich - I couldn't finish my cake - and the tiramisu was nice and groggy.
Prices are lower than average for the quality of the meals on offer, and service and atmosphere were great. Certainly hope to return.