I have thought about writing blog posts on restaurants I have visited before, but never managed to put fingers to keypad. Of course, this has now changed. The blogs I had in mind previously for my culinary musings would have focused on the service (or lack of) but this post is designed to highlight and praise what is probably now my favourite restaurant in London, and one of my favourite in the UK: C London.
Formerly called ‘The Cipriani’, it was forced to change its name to the present title due to a law suit from the Italian hotel (which also owns this restaurant… bizarrely). Situated in Mayfair’s Davies Street, the restaurant is (I discovered subsequently) a favourite of television and music mogul Simon Cowell, and a regular haunt of many A-list celebrities. There weren’t any slebs in when I ate, presumably that was because I was the token sleb at the time (please note the irony).
The restaurant is Italian in theme and like many good authentic Italian restaurants up and down the land they seem to employ half of Italy as their waiting staff. This is not strictly a negative as it does mean efficient and conscientious service, but I often find that it can mean the ‘dining experience’ is over before it has even begun. Maybe I am just fussy as I also don’t like sitting for hours for the food to be brought out, but there is an art in perfecting the timing of the diners’ service.
The one concern I always have with quick service of the food is that it hasn’t been prepared fresh. My mother would always say about late service, ‘well, at least it means it is fresh’. Quite true, and I did slightly question whether the food at C London was as fresh as it could be seeing as it seemed to fly out the kitchen before the waiter had even taken our order.
Any reservations I may have had were quelled when I tucked into Sausage Tagliarelle. The sausage meat had been squeezed out of the sausage skin and gently fried so it melted in the mouth. The pasta was fresh (of course) and a very light sauce coated the pasta. I also tried the Veal Milanese, which was tender and succulent.
I have a very sweet tooth and sadly I did not have time to sample any of their puddings. That said, I find that Italian restaurants generally have a consistently poor selection of puddings – tiramisu, summer pudding, gelati. Although at C London I did glimpse mention of a crepe on their website, so I shall retain judgment on the pudding front until my return visit in a few days.
The interior design is awash with bronze and off-bronze colours. Copper-tinted mirrors clad the bar area, reflecting the 1930s inspired décor. The dining tables and chairs are lower than your average restaurant, which can be off-putting at first, as to a first-time diner it felt a tad like Alice in Wonderland, but it helps the congenial and laid back atmosphere that is synonymous with Italian dining.
Reading this review back it may seem to draw upon negatives and flaws too much, but the fact that I can only pick out one or two minor ones means that it is good: I’m quite critical. The prices are not that expensive for London standards, but it is certainly not cheap. The quality of food one gets and the overall pleasure from eating there is worth the slightly steep prices: if one got more on the plate then they might be justified. But it won’t stop me from going back for more.