Hai Cenato 22

2 Sir Simon Milton Square , London, SW1E 5DJ

020 3816 9320

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  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Social Company
  • Hai Cenato London Italian restaurant Jason Atherton Nova Victoria

SquareMeal Review of Hai Cenato

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. 

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7.5

Food & Drink: 7.5

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 8.3

Value: 7.8

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Nina K. silver reviewer 04 December 2017

Being a huge fan of Jason Atherton, I had high expectations going to this restaurant and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. Kids eat free on the weekends so my daughter decided to have the pasta with bolognaise sauce. This arrived before the adults ordered and was so delicious I had to steal little fork fulls when my daughter was distracted as she was not sharing! For starters we had arancini, little balls of rich flavoured rice, deep fried and served with a wonderful sauce. At this stage I thought it couldn't get better than this, but the mains were still to come! Our mains of a decadently sticky and rich venison ragu over pasta discs and an unusual lamb neck pizza was wonderfully flavoursome and hearty. Plates were almost licked clean! Dessert was a hot chocolate fondant that was warm and oozy served with a lovely cappuccino ice cream. Jason Atherton did it again! All in all I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a great atmosphere and wonderful Italian food!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Rebecca L. gold reviewer 14 November 2017

Don’t get me wrong – the food here is fabulous. Authentic but innovative, tasty and pretty as a picture. Plus the service is what you’d expect from a Jason Atherton restaurant. But the real highlight is the stunning décor and surroundings of the main restaurant and the intimate and fun bar downstairs. It’s worth going for the bar alone! My dining companion has visited Japan and said she felt like she was back there. A real treat.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Joanna G. platinum reviewer 11 August 2017

3 of us ate here last night, we arrived a few minutes before our booking time and the table before us were paying so we went upstairs to the bar for a drink, the whole place was pretty busy even at 7.30pm, a nice buzzy atmosphere, so good first impressions. Once we were seated we ordered a bottle of rose and some arancini to share while we were reading the menu and they took around 20 minutes to come, they were tasty but too salty, particularly when you have ham on top as well. We then waited approximately 20 minutes again for that plate to be cleared and for someone to take our order. The goats cheese and zucchini pizza was a big hit, the pizza bianca with smoked mozzarella, chicken and BBQ smoked corn, was bland, with not enough chicken or corn, and way too much cheese, and the beef shin ragu so was overly salted that it was inedible - I did tell the waiter and asked him to feed that back to the kitchen. All in all, it was a pretty average meal, only made bearable by the fact that the bill only came to £83, so at least it wasn't expensive and disappointing. I am a big Atherton fan, but this is nowhere near the quality I would expect. Also, it took the best part of 3 hours to get served 2 courses and the bill, whilst we were not in a hurry and I am not keen on restaurants who table-turn, we had to wave to get our waiters attention every time, we got the impression that he might be learning the job, although he was perfectly pleasant. Front of house staff on the door were good fun.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Nevine H. silver reviewer 05 April 2017

Pizza excellent, perfect base and topping. Tried salami, very average (good olives though), foccacio (not good), Pizza Bianca totally delicious and I didn't leave even a crust! For main tried the pasta bolognaise. The pasta was flat rounds like half a ravioli, sauce was very oily, not over tasteful though I did enjoy the crispy fried sage leaves. Good and friendly service. I would go back for the pizza, that's it.