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L’Anima restaurant review


1 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ. Tel: 020 7422 7000
Meal for two, 3 courses, 2 glasses of wine c. £100.

High quality Italian food. Relatively expensive but not by City standards.

Jay Rayner loved this place and it has good reviews generally. I liked it but perhaps not as much as Jay.

The frito misto (£14)– an Italian battered fish, sea food and veg was very good but for me a hint of grease and a fish slightly overcooked so not as great as the best tempura chefs.

The clams and mussels (£7) in a charcoal smoked infusion was very good again but a very slight grit held it back from being excellent. The smoky flavour complements the sweet and salty clam well.

Aubergine (£7/9) was well roasted (again the wood oven, I think) but the star ingredient was the burrata – a very fresh mozzarella. Not normally available in England, and I hear it has to be flown over, virtually same day from Italy. The fresh creamy cheese offsetting the aubergine to make an excellent dish.

Spit roast lamb (£15) was fine, tasted of tender lamb but nothing unique.

Roast belly (£14) was excellent. This is one of my favourite dishes in any case, but the pig (a black breeded one) was roasted to a melting fat tenderness with good crackling. The wood oven again creating delicate smoke notes. Excellent.

Zitoni (tube pasta) with N’duja (spicy spreadable salami from Spilinga) was cooked well, but the salami-aubergine flavours didn’t do anything special for me. A simple good dish.

Similarly, grilled swordfish. A fresh steak, grilled, not overcooked but not special.

An iced chocolate truffle was very good as were the chocolate truffles with coffee. The zabayone with a zing of liquorice was an unusual juxtaposition of flavours and texture, but in mind not completely successful. However, probably great, if you devour liquorice.

All in all, a very good experience.

If you are into your design, worth noting that “sleek, modern, Italian” is in full flow here and an Italian model would not look out at place. However, at lunch, twice, I noted only around 5 women in total amongst the suited men.

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