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The name means ‘heart and soul’, and Anima e Cuore’s owners have certainly put everything into this intriguing Italian eatery on Kentish Town Road. During the day, it’s a “low-key” café and ice-cream parlour dishing out sustenance for passers-by, but the space out back also conceals a remarkable little restaurant. There’s precious little decor, the menu is recited (or scrawled on paper) and you’re expected to bring your own booze, but the kitchen delivers some “absolutely sensational” food. Polenta in various forms is a speciality and pasta is made fresh each day (perhaps ox-cheek cannelloni or black tagliatelle with smoked salmon and peas), but you might also find plates of tuna tartare with cucumber sorbet, swordfish carpaccio or beef fillet with green cauliflower cream and toasted hazelnuts – all fashioned by chefs who’ve worked in big hitters such as L’Anima and The Ledbury. One warning: “everyone round here knows about it, so book in advance”.
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