Going for dinner in the ‘touristy’ areas of London is always hit or miss. More often than not dishes are over-priced and quality substandard. In this respect, ‘San Carlo Cicchetti’ is an anomaly. And with branches in Manchester, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, the Italian tapas chain is growing in both size and reputation.
We visited the Covent Garden branch where we were greeted with bellinis and aperol spritz, along with some of the best pizza bread we’ve tried – absolutely not your regular bread basket. As we took in our surroundings (think chic yet cosy, there’s a reason TripAdvisor reviewers say that they were drawn in by its beautiful exterior) our waiter ran as through the tapas on offer. Well, there’s certainly no lack of choice .
To be honest, everything sounded mouth-wateringly appetising, but we managed to limit ourselves to the fillet of seabass, the pizza with prosciutto and fungi, the fresh tuna salad and the lobster risotto. The flavours of each dish complimented each other, and I don’t think there was one crumb left by the time our plates were cleared. The fillet of seabass was particularly good, and, along with a side salad or vegetables, is perfect as a light, summer dish. As for the pizza, it was crunchy, not sloppy, and lightweight in texture.
To wash it all down, we sipped on refreshing mojitos. We were spared from agonising over the dessert menu as we were presented with a mini spread of lots of mini puddings! Is it just us or do Italians do dessert SO well?
A stone throw away from Covent Garden station, the restaurant would likely be packed purely because of its location. Add in the great ambience, delicious food and knowledgeable staff, and you can see why it’s important to book in advance. The perfect pre-theatre spot, or great for a date, if you’re looking for a great Italian in the centre, make Cicchetti the one!