|Pan fried scallops wrapped in pancetta, mash with French beans|
Stef's Italian is a family run restaurant just off Oxford Street, serving traditional Italian cuisine at an affordable price. There are so many Italian restaurants across London but it is difficult to spot a good value for money one. While I am fully aware there are some top Italian restaurants in London, such as Murano and Bocca di Lupo, these places are premium with diners usually needing to pay at least £50 a head without including drinks and service. Stef's Italian was recommended by a fellow food blogger and I was interested to see if I can finally find a good and affordable classic Italian restaurant in central London.
|Tiger prawns tossed in garlic, chilli, tomato, mixed leaves|
|Arborio rice with wild porcini mushrooms|
The starter of scallops wrapped in pancetta was pretty solid, the saltiness of the ham acted as a lovely seasoning with the sweet scallop, with the mash and beans added contrast in both texture and lightness. The tiger prawns with garlic however was decent at best, as the prawns weren't as fresh as I was hoping for. I was a big fan of the Arborio rice, the texture of the rice was bang on for me, the wild porcini mushrooms was smooth with a lovely hint of note from the truffle oil. My main course of the salmon was also impressive, the fish was cooked at the right level with a beautiful crispy skin, perhaps a touch unseasoned but when it was combined with the crab meat and spinach in a light soya sauce, it worked like magic.
|Pacific king prawns tossed in white wine, |
garlic, chilli, lemon risotto
|Fresh Salmon, crab meat |
and spinach in a light soya sauce, mash
Stef's Italian produced very solid traditional Italian, while the ingredients were far from world class, the cooking was very capable and does Italian cuisine proper justice. The chef also isn't afraid to add a little modern twist in some of his dishes, such as using soya sauce in fish dishes and cooking duck with berries. The service was also great, informal with a touch of Italian charm. You are looking at about £7 for starters and £14 for mains, they also offer set lunch and set dinner menus so price wise it is not a great deal of difference if you compare to chains like Zizzi and Pizza Express but at a far superior quality.
What I paid:
£28 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
3 Berners St, London W1T 3LD