SquareMeal Review of
The buzzing centrepiece of the shiny new Nova development near Victoria station, Jason Atherton’s homage to his favourite New York pizzerias is tricky to locate, but once inside you’ll find a slickly designed, noisy space lined with plate-glass windows and a wall of chef caricatures that’s proving popular with restaurant nerds. The line-up of sourdough pizzas includes plenty of “big hits”, from goats’ cheese and zucchini to a “hearty” combo involving lamb neck and aubergine, but that’s just the beginning. The kitchen also deals in “simple flavoursome food” done to Atherton’s usual high standards: confit guinea fowl and Barolo risotto offset by bitter radicchio; corzetti pasta topped with “decadently sticky” venison ragù; perfectly timed whole gilthead bream stuffed with saffron, lemon and fennel – cooking with real heart and soul. Sides of chilli-kissed cavolo nero almost steal the show, although the dish destined for signature status is salted caramel gelato sandwiched in a warm brioche bun. Sure, it feels a tad corporate, but with seven-day opening and a first-floor cocktail bar (The Drunken Oyster), Hai Cenato is a brilliant all-purpose addition to the Victoria scene.
Hai Cenato is recommended for