Evoluzione at Hotel Xenia

1 reviews

160 Cromwell Road , London, SW5 0TL

SquareMeal Review of Evoluzione at Hotel Xenia

Housed within the boutique Hotel Xenia, Evoluzione is the first London outing for ‘cucina evolution’ – an innovative Italian concept built on the slogan ‘where the art of cooking meets the science of nutrition’. Pioneered by chef and lecturer Chiara Manzi, it offers a new take on ‘healthy eating’ combining big flavours with balance and a low calorie intake. Manzi’s alumni will be taking turns to cook over the coming months, so expect a menu of salads, pastas, risottos and even tiramisu in startling new guises, with revealing notes beside each item: octopus is cooked at a low temperature and served with guazetto tomato sauce, basil and turmeric (a dish full of anthocyanin and antioxidant lycopene), while linguine comes with iced pesto, potatoes and French beans (the ice helps vitamin C retention). The nutritional ethos also extends to the choice of wines and water.

Evoluzione at Hotel Xenia Location

160 Cromwell Road , London SW5 0TL

Evoluzione at Hotel Xenia's Reviews


Food & Drink: 10.0


Service: 8.0


Atmosphere: 10.0


Value: 10.0


Food + drink: 5

Service: 4

Atmosphere: 5

Value: 5

22 May 2013

I am normally a lurker on sites like this, but having eaten at the newly opened Evoluzione in Cromwell Rd, I am inspired to write my first reviews. Evoluzione has been open less than two weeks. They are still shaking down the service a bit, and the stock of wine is not quite what is suggested by the extensive wine list. Normally by this point, I would be quietly fuming and looking for the first opportunity to leave. However… The front page of the menu has an interesting philosophical discussion on flavour and healthiness. The essential point is that great food, especially great Italian food, can also be healthy. The food descriptions show all sorts of interesting combinations of flavours. There are also phrases like “low temperature cooked” that struck me as reminiscent of Heston Blumenthal at home. I ordered the low temperature octopus for the entree, and the low-temperature ostrich for the main. I blame Heston. Having tried slow cooking at home, I am fascinated by the flavours and textures that can be achieved. The octopus , quite simply, was out of this world. It was far and away the best octopus that I have ever eaten. Bar none. It was very tender, with none of the leathery texture that one often experiences. The accompanying tomato, basil, olives, and potato sauce matched the octopus perfectly. This was so good that before I had finished eating, I was searching online for sous-vide recipes to try this at home. The ostrich, once again slow cooked, was also fantastic. It came with asparagus, spinach and an excellent sauce. The meat was cooked medium rare, and was full of flavour and very tender. My only criticism is the I would have liked a little more sauce. If you are in the area, and appreciate something really novel in food without being way out, you just have to try this place,

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