Restaurant review: Bar Azita, Harpenden
This photo of Bar Azita is courtesy of TripAdvisor
With the Bank holiday coming up, I thought I’d give you an idea for where to go for a meal if your in the Harpenden area.
Mediterranean dining in Harpenden: I had a real foodies day the other weekend. Not only did I decide to get up early (well, early for a Saturday) but we also went out for what was a lovely meal in the evening. Making the trip back to Harpenden can sometimes be easy and sometimes be a bit fraught, luckily this time it was the former and we arrived in Harpenden in good time to enjoy a friends birthday meal at Bar Azita, In fact we actually got there before the birthday boy himself so thank you trains that day at least!
It had been quite a while since I had been to Bar Azita, many moons ago back when I lived in Harpenden we’d pop in now and then. The food was always good and the prices matched too. A favourite was to go in during the lunch time offer where you got a meal and glass of wine quite reasonably (don’t ask how much it was, I just can’t remember).
And for me Bar Azita holds a special place in my heart as it’s where Hana and I had our second date, a few years ago now!
Well since I have last been they have renovated and doubled the size, adding a new Tapas bar and lounge area to the restaurant. We went on a Saturday as mentioned and my friend had had to book well in advance for a party of 12. The place was packed, which always tells you something good about a restaurant.
As a big party, my friend had ordered from the set party menu. We had several courses of wonderful Mediterranean food. Now the party menu we ate from that evening isn’t on the website and as they didn’t tell us what each dish was I’m doing this from memory and looking at the main menu, so apologies if its not 100% right. Being a big party we were sharing large portion dishes between 3-4 people.
We started out with some bread and dips and olives, always a good choice. We had a big basked of lovely warm flat bread and Potatosalata (potato salad with chives, olive oil and lemon juice), Hommous and Taramasalata. The dips had a good home-made feel about them which I like. I know its extra effort but always nice when a restaurant does this.
Next out was the fish course, which was my favourite of the evening. It was a lovely platter of different fish and seafood made up of Mediterranean butterfly prawns, in olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, Boquerones, which are scrummy little deep fried white bait, skewers of Swordfish and Kalamari. I love deep fried squid but so often it ends up as either this over-cooked rubbery thing in batter or undercooked and horrible. Happily this was one of the times when they cooked it well.
I think I had more than my share of the seafood but it was really good!
Meat: The Main Course
So, I’ve filled myself up on the starter and fish course not thinking that there would be a huge mixed grill selection of meats coming out after. Things just got serious! There were great hunks of Lamb and chicken Souvlaki and big slices of Pastourma, which is a spicy beef sausage which was charcoal grilled. Well I loosened my waist and got stuck in. It was all cooked and spiced really well.
Along with this we had thinly sliced rounds of hand cut chips or, Sibzameni with parsley.
This one was home-made, quite literally as someone brought some nice birthday cakes with us.
So overall how was it? I’d say Bar Azita was a really nice evening. Thought it’s not the biggest place the food is lovely and when Hana ordered a cocktail and didn’t like it, I can’t blame her as it was ridiculously strong, they simply gave her another with no charge. It’s little things like that which make you go back to places again and again.