L'AnimaLondon | United Kingdom

  • added: Oct 15 2009
  • author: foodsketches
  • comments:
Editor's choiceHidden jewel
L’Anima gives a modern twist to some traditional Italian dishes. The focus is on Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia, and reach further into the Mediterranean region with Moorish influences revealing dishes with bold yet clean and distinct flavours ...

L’Anima is a relatively new Italian restaurant on the London scene. Its opening was a great success and the restaurant got a lot of awards in 2009. We could not resist the temptation of visiting such an interesting place and there we were, travelling to the City, in our search of this well hidden jewel. It is located in the business district, and once you travel in the late evening, you end up driving on deserted streets and nothing gives away the existence of this place. However, once you approach it, you can’t miss it – huge windows from ceiling to the floor across the entire length of the restaurant make quite an impression. Interior is very modern, more on the minimalistic side; predominant colour is white with dark wooden panels throughout the restaurant; ceilings are very high giving the restaurant a lot of air and space.

Once we were seated at a table, we ordered champagne and amuse bouche arrived just in time! The waiter took his time to explain the menu and asked for the sommelier to explain to us their special offer of pairing wines to the tasting menu. After a wonderful talk with the sommelier we had no choice, but to go for this option – he sounded very knowledgeable and we really wanted a special feast for our taste palate. We never regretted our choice!

The chef of L’Anima  gives a modern twist to some traditional Italian dishes. The focus is on Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia, and reach further into the Mediterranean region with Moorish influences revealing dishes with bold yet clean and distinct flavours. We very much liked the simplicity of served dishes, yet their presentation and combination of flavours was suggesting an elegant sophistication. Such approach fit very well with the chosen minimalistic interior, or rather, it was a brilliant job of a designer to extend the kitchen philosophy to the restaurants ambience. It goes without saying that all menu is seasonal and has one interesting detail – all names of dishes, ingredients, etc. that are used in Italian language in the menu are explained in the reference column. This is a wonderful little touch that makes people appreciate the food even more as they are able to better understand what is being offered without second-guessing or at times feeling embarrassed to ask for the explanation of certain terminology.

I can only say that every single dish that we ordered was absolutely delicious and a piece of art. The biggest revelation for me was a risotto at this place. I must admit that I am not a fan of this dish, however, English asparagus risotto left a significant impression with me. I would also recommend to pick almost anything related to seafood on the menu – it comes fresh, preserving its natural flavour and complimented by delicious garnish. Fish stew with Sardinian fregola (Sardinian hard durum wheat cous cous) is a signature dish of this place and is utterly scrumptious. Meat is also cooked to perfection, especially the roasted lamb. The desert menu contains some Italian classics but with the chef’s creative interpretation such as cappuccino tiramisu, liquorice zabayon and amaretto soufflé with its own sauce... and of course, there is a selection of mouth-watering Italian cheeses! The wine list is rather extensive with the primary focus on Italian wines – you can find jewels from almost any region in Italy there. Fortified and dessert wine list deserves a special attention - recioto di soave ‘acinatium is a delicate ending note to any dinner.

We must note that this place is also very busy around the lunch time, particularly on working days, and is a popular place for business meetings and private gatherings. Dress code would be more on smart casual and perhaps business formal side. Service is impeccable and adds to a wonderful dining experience.


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