|Sea bream ceviche, fennel, orange, chilli|
Angela Hartnett is a busy woman in 2015 (Chef owner of Murano, 1 Michelin star), expanding her restaurant empire by adding another Cafe Murano in Convert Garden, right in the heart of theatreland. I had two meals at the original Cafe Murano in Mayfair and on both occasions, the meals were generally really good especially the pasta dishes. This time the key question I guess for me is, with a dining concept like Cafe Murano turning into a chain, can the quality retain across the board?
|Artichoke & bagna cauda|
|Tagliatelle, sausage ragout, marjoram|
|Linguine, Cornish crab, chilli, garlic & parsley|
This time around we opted both the pre-theatre menu (which is the same as its lunch meal) and a few dishes from the a la carte menu. The sea bream ceviche had a cool and citruses taste with great use of fennel and orange to deliver a refreshing starter. The pasta proven to be just as good as the original joint, the linguine with cornish crab was smooth and silky as any quality linguine should be, what really does it for me was the the tiny touch of chilli and garlic which completed such a fine pasta dish.
|Bavette salad, balsamic onions, pecorino|
|Halibut, courgette, fennel caponata|
|Cod, lentils, parsley & mint|
While a bavette salad is nothing fancy, Cafe Murano managed to turn into something extremely enjoyable, the element of green leaf, balsamic onions and pecorino all linked together wonderfully with the lovely tender beef. The halibut was meaty and moist with a great combination of courgettes & fennel, the perfect match of making a light fish dish. I could really taste the freshness and sweetness of the halibut. The dessert of fig tart was also outstanding, it had a crispy thin pastry but not oily at the same time, the nutty and mild spicy flavours cut into the sweetness of the tart. It was a really good balance of flavours on show.
|Fig tart, walnut & vanilla ice cream|
Overall I had a great meal at Cafe Murano, simple but outstanding cooking, lovely usage of fresh ingredients with a warming service to match. I first feared the loss of quality from expanding the business but I was proven wrong. In fact, I felt the meal was just as good, if not better if I directly compared it to the first site. Also it couldn't be at a better location if you are travelling for a theatre show, at the cost of £19 for two course, you are getting some of the best Italian cooking in the area. You can be in and out under an hour, making it very ideal for a pre-theatre treat.
What I paid:
Average cost without drinks and services:
36 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PB, United Kingdom