Bocconcino’s website asserts that its restaurant is “one of the most luxurious, authentic Italian experiences in London.” Without doubt it offers a certain form of luxury – if excess is your kind of thing – but what it may gain in this respect, it undoubtedly loses in terms of authenticity. Restaurants that operate 200+ covers over two floors and are bedecked with lots of gold fittings, mirrors and mood-enhancing lights are rarely to be found in Italy, in my experience, but are certainly far from uncommon in well-heeled districts of London. The only Italian I heard spoken at Bocconcino was admittedly by the waiters, with the majority of the diners most likely there on expenses-paid business lunches or people wanting to be seen at a high-end and sort of on-trend location. In a venue of such size, one assumes that the kitchen much also be pretty large, hence the dimensions of the menu (both literally – it is a statement piece – and the dishes on offer). There’s something for everyone, whether it’s a beef tartare and truffle starter for a mere £28 or the ‘bargain’ Margherita pizza at £15. At least no one will be disappointed with the range. Critics may, however, assert that were the restaurant to focus on fewer dishes, then the standard might arguably be higher. Maybe the angle of Bocconcino is not one of seeking repeat business; more, ‘let them eat pizza/pasta’ – and be done with it. Cynicism aside, the selection of starters which our group of six shared were mostly successes. A burrata and tomato combination was both colourful and tasty while the Jerusalem artichoke and veal sauce pairing with scallops was inspired. We did try the much vaunted tartare, which was decent, although the addition of bog-standard crisps to the top of the dish was not only curious but also undermined its impact. Many of our group’s mains got the thumbs up, although two in our party (your reviewer included) chose the black taglione and crab offering. It lacked either distinct flavour or texture and my comrade’s half-finished platter spoke volumes. The wine list tells a similar story to the food menu. There are bottles across the spectrum, and it pays to choose carefully. We were pleased with our Sauvignon Blanc from the Alto Adige and a Rosso di Montalcino from the ever-reliable Antinori. Service throughout was professional and enthusiastic. Choose Bocconicino as a venue for large groups – whose size and varied tastes can be catered for well – but there are undoubtedly better (and more authentic) Italian dining experiences in London.