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Travel Memories at Cucina Asellina and The Lion King

For me, the best thing about about travelling is the memories that you make, those special moments that you share that are captured in a photograph or remain forever in your mind. If I have the opportunity to relive those memories in any way, I’ll jump at the chance…which is why I bought Mr S tickets to the Lion King as an anniversary present.

It probably sounds a little silly but when we were on safari in South Africa, I kept on being reminded of my favourite Disney movie whenever we encountered a pride of big cats and belting out Simba’s signature tune ‘I just can’t wait to be king’ while we getting ready in the room…

Friday night was our big theatre night out and we popped to Cucina Asellina for dinner first. The Italian restaurant in the ME hotel is one of our favourite places where we know we’ll have really good food and a great time. Eating Italian seemed rather appropriate for this night of travel memories, having just come back from Rome plus we’ve also visited the restaurant’s sister venue in New York. My choice of a rossini or prosecco with strawberry puree and Mr S’s sparkling sangria even reminded me of the brunch that we’d enjoyed in New York.


The interior is sleek, with a high ceiling, white leather, metallics and polished floors, don’t be put off by the fact it looks a little empty, we were there at 6pm for a pre-theatre dinner and it gets much busier later.

I’ve blogged about Cucina Asellina before but we were back to try the brand new menu concept based around sharing plates.

Our waitress advised us that around four plates each would be just right.


From the fritti section of the menu we chose a fittura mista consisting of calamari, prawns, soft shell crab and whitebait, the batter was crisp and light enough so as not to detract from the fresh flavour of the fish. We’d had an almost identical dish in Rome which was far too heavy on the batter; by comparison Cucina Asellina’s dish was better.

Mr S and I have always enjoyed the pizzette at Cucina Asellina and we plumped for the salmon partly because salmon (obvs) but also because it reminded us of the same dish at the sister restaurant in New York. I loved this small plate, a beautifully crisp crust, gooey melting cheese and soft flakes of salmon.

Salmon tartare with avocado, rocket and Sicilian citrus was a beautiful, light and zesty option to go alongside the heavier dishes.

I love stuffed pasta and the lobster tortelloni with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and martini bianco was almost as the pasta that we’d had on our recent trip to Rome. Thin and delicate parcels housing sumptuous chunks of meaty lobster.

Grilled prawns with rocket, fennel and orange salad were another gorgeously refreshing dish. The prawns were beautifully cooked and prepared, though a little fiddly on the shells.

One of Mr S’s absolute favourites: honey glazed rack of lamb and rosemary potatoes, cooked to perfection. Despite the glossy glamour of the restaurant it’s not a place that is style over substance, cooking is simple and rustic but with fantastic flavours, it’s a place where you can just feel really at home.

I would agree with the waitress that three plates was just right for the savoury options and it was time to look at the dessert menu that featured more Italian classics.

A beautifully creamy tiramisu served in a coffee cup and two mini gelato cones were the perfect way to round off a meal that bought back memories both of our trip to New York and to Italy. I really like Cucina Asellina a lot, it’s the sort of place where anyone would be happy with the food, it’s really reasonably priced too and in a great central location.

We only had a 30 second walk across the road to the Lyceum theatre where The Lion King was being shown.

I had bought us special VIP tickets to enjoy the fantastic show which meant we could sit in the Ambassador’s lounge before the performance and during the Interval. The tickets also included a whole bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates each and a programme for the show.

It was the perfect way to watch the show in style and relive the wonderful memories of South Africa that we built together. We absolutely loved the musical from the amazing sets and costumes to the wonderful songs, definitely one of my favourites.

How do you relive your travel memories at home? 

Cucina Asellina
ME London Hotel
336 – 337 The Strand

020 3542 2784

Our lovely meal at Cucina Asellina was complimentary

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