Assaggi 22

39 Chepstow Place , London, W2 4TS

SquareMeal Review of Assaggi

For 20 years, Assaggi served top-quality Italian food to a smart local clientele, so there was much wailing in 2015 when it closed after lease problems. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end, and owner Nino Sassu re-opened in 2016 with the full backing of his landlords. The whole building has been refurbished, and Sassu has turned the huge ground floor into an all-day eatery serving wood-fired pizzas alongside steaks, salads and pastries. The cooking at Assaggi proper (upstairs) remains committed to the best Italian ingredients and traditional methods reflecting the chef’s Sardinian childhood. Dishes such as calamari stew or crab with celery, olive oil and lemon may sound simple, but flavours are intense and memorable. Pasta might bring tagliolini with nine different herbs (and no garlic), while capunti is combined with speck and a gentle cream of courgettes, Parmesan and saffron. Substantial grills, regional cheeses and alluring desserts complete the line-up, with drinks running from good-value wines to Negronis.


Are you the restaurant owner?

Click here for Links & Logos

7.8

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 8.3

Atmosphere: 8.0

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Viv G. 26 June 2012

Exceptional in every respect without any pretention! Service really excellent; you can sense the people here care very much about what they do and how they do it. Professional and really friendly. The menu, in Italian, was explained thoroughly and with great passion. We were recommended excellent wine by very knowledgeable staff. The food was just amazing; the best ingredients exquisitely executed; each course as good as the other. The atmosphere was just great; happy and friendly; people enjoying themselves in the company they were with in a fanatastic place. Couldn't ask for more! Will be returning on next visit to London in September!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 03 June 2010

Last time my wife and I visited Assaggi, it was winter, dark and calm. This time, the weather in the evening was glorious and the place was HEAVING; it was a challenge to hold a conversation. The bare walls did not help in that regard. The welcome was very warm and I found the over the top familiarity of the person who seemed to be in charge quite amusing – but had I been with people I knew less well, it would have been a different story. In fact, the service was good overall. The food merely correct. I had an enjoyable burratta wrapped with a slice of grilled aubergine – simple and almost impossible to get wrong. My main course was a pasta with crab meat and a side salad. Again, hard to fault but hardly a cullinary challenge. One of our party left half “her” liver, though my wife enjoyed her plain grilled sea bass – again, hardly a challenge (see a pattern emerging here ?). The first decent red on the menu was a Planeta at £38, which must be a heady mark-up… the whites are better value but in my view miss out on some of the better Italian choices (from the North of Italy). We had no desserts and only a couple of mint teas. We were in good company and had a fun evening once the place quietened down a little (in volume). We enjoyed the interaction with the servers but having thought about it quite hard, I am driven to the conclusion that the food was no better than a lot of other Italian restaurants offer (which is, of course good), but at £50 per head (one bottle of one of the house whites, no pre-dinner drinks or bottled water)… sorry, but something's lacking.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

lm b. 30 April 2010

In fairness, there was a lot of hype surrounding this place so usually it's hard to live up to the hype. The neighborhood is charming & so is the premise of walking into a little mews & having to go upstairs to a flat. The service was gracious & attentive, however we felt too attentive. We felt incredibly rushed & hovered over. At one point my husband was still chewing his last bite while they were clearing our plates asking if we'd like dessert. Our reservation was at 7:30pm and we were finished before 9pm. We didn't feel comfortable enough to lounge and take our time. There was no savouring – it was in…and out. The food itself was tasty to good. But amazing? No. Excellent? No. We have had better, esp. for the money & sorry…and at the end of the day? Coming from a big Italian family – I still prefer grandma's. That's the barometer, it has to be just as good or better. Our appetizers came out literally 5 minutes after we ordered, our main did take longer but then our dessert was the same (5 minutes later). We still had 1/2 a bottle of wine life to get through when all three courses were over! I can see the appeal. The restaurant is nestled in a gorgeous little settling (1/2 the charm was the walk), the clientele are well moneyed who love to call this place their ‘local’ & the staff are all 100% Italian no bones about it so you feel that you are getting authentic Italian & automatically feel you are genuinely in safe hands. But was it anything to rave about? Come on! No way. Out of all of the Italian places we've been (from the high end Locanda Locatelli to Pucci's Pizza) one of our faves was Osteria Basilco. I'd check that out for the money. By the way for 2 glasses of champagne, a bottle of sparkling water, 2 app's, 2 mains, a bottle of wine & a shared dessert it was £155.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Geoff K. bronze reviewer 11 December 2008

In December the only experiance that was ‘mancante’ was the table under the stars and 30 degrees of heat. This restaurant is sunshine.

 1  

Assaggi is included in the following SquareMeal lists