Visited 16 September 2009.
Alba Grill, 5 Malvern Road, West Kilburn NW6 5PS.
Finding an Albanian restaurant to represent Albania as a country was more tricky than expected, because the majority of Albanian eateries we found were Kosovan. Eventually, we identified the Alba Grill, a fairly spartan establishment one step up from a simple kebab shop. On arrival we saw that the laminated menu had a paper addendum promising Authentic Albanian Dishes, so we were in the right place.
My recall of the details is sketchy now, but the overriding memory is of meat. Basically what we got was a massive sharing plate piled high with meat of all kinds: sausages of many types, pieces of steak, pork, gammon. There may have been chicken as well but on reflection that probably wouldn’t have been meaty enough. All this served with a suggestion of salad, so little of it that it must have been there to satisfy some EU requirement rather than function as a genuine component of the dish. Other than that, the ony vegetables on display were a number of large green chilis. The meat was certainly very nice, but there was just so much of it. Even after we all ate more than was really sensible, the meat mountain remained merely dented.
So, it seems we are no match for the hearty appetites of Albania. They are welcome to their brawn; bring on the tasting menu. ~SB
If you like this food, you’ll love: coronary disease