Cafe Murano Covent Garden

Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Cafe Murano Covent Garden

Bronze Award

Like its St James’s sibling, this second branch of Café Murano showcases Angela Hartnett's modern Italian cooking in a more casual setting than her Michelin-starred Murano. Spread over two floors, it's a convivial spot for business or dates, though we prefer dining with a group of friends and sharing a selection of characterful regional dishes. The daily menu is fiercely seasonal and allows good ingredients to prove their worth, often in simple, yet effective combinations: a salad of octopus, borlotti beans, olives and preserved lemon, for example, might be followed by rich pork cheeks with creamy white bean purée and chicory. Pasta is a particular delight, either sampled in dishes such as spicy bucatini amatriciana or bought from the ‘pastificio’ next door to take home – along with a bottle of hearty Italian red, of course. "It's hard not to stop for lunch each day I walk past", confides one local. Decent Italian-themed cocktails are another plus, and service is “always with a smile”.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Fun, Lively
Special Features
Counter dining
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Cafe Murano Covent Garden

36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7PB

020 7240 3654


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-11pm Sun 11.30am-4pm

Reviews of Cafe Murano Covent Garden

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23 Reviews 

Jessica F

03 February 2020   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Pre-Theatre dinner

Me, my mum and stepdad went for a pre-theatre dinner on Friday evening. A beautiful restaurant, seating slightly cramped but not unbearable. The service was outstanding, we were being checked on but not harrassed. Food was absolutely delicious 10/10 to the chef. They even brought us a celebratory drink as it was my mum's birthday. Overall a lovely experience, I will definitley be returning.

Elina H

07 August 2019  
My all around fave - almost my second home. The staff is just incredible, food always top notch and I can literally spend every day there without getting bored.


09 June 2019  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Amazing place...

Very well selected meals and wines.

High quality ingredients for a very affordable price!

Not surprised that the restaurant is rated so high.

Excellent night!

Laura C

31 July 2018  
Helpful staff, food was tasty and good value but made to feel like a tourist in my own City. Definitely room for improvement and doesn't live up to expectations.

David H

31 July 2018  
Food & Drink 2
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Sorry- I thought my lunch was poor.
I like Angela Hartnett's cooking a lot, and I simply can't imagine leaving Murano feeling anything but positively about the food and service. And speaking as I find, I have largely felt similarly about Limewood in Hampshire since she became involved. But I'm incredibly confused about how I'm supposed to respond to this restaurant. It seems to share nothing with Murano at all. It's not "Murano lite" it's "Murano worse" or perhaps more accurately its not Murano at all. There's not a shred of what you get at Murano that's visible here. There is quite simply no credible attempt to translate the values of the parent restaurant to this place. So why call it Murano at all? There are no common values- none. And what satisfaction can Ms Hartnett get from lending her carefully built brand name to a restaurant that is , from what I can see, totally mediocre. I can promise you that if I'd happened to visit Cafe Murano first I wouldn't even think of eating at the parent - I would simply find it hard to accept that any restaurant sharing a name with this one would be likely to deliver quality gourmet cooking. Unlike at Limewood, I can't see anything in this place that is better because it has a star chef associated with it. I visited on a reasonably busy lunchtime with two old friends and fortunately the emphasis was on conversation not food. I chose two courses from a set lunch menu. A kind of quiche with a few salad leaves, and a pasta main that involved sardines and breadcrumbs and , apparently, fennel. Both of these dishes were just about palatable , the pasta very dry , they both had virtually no flavour. Frankly I've eaten better food on planes, in economy. It wasn't expensive , the service was OK, and the premises, whilst not smart, were about what you'd expect given the menu. However the kitchen contrived to deliver a product that has convinced me not under any circumstances to return. This is not the first time I've eaten at a mid-market restaurant under the auspices of a chef of some fame and great skill, and emerged unimpressed. I recall eating at Tredwell's, being similarly disappointed , and haven't eaten at any Marcus Wareing restaurant since- I guess they've become devalued in my eyes because of a decision to link themselves to, and profit from, mediocrity.

Rebecca R

30 June 2018  
Beautifully relaxed environment and beautiful Italian food.

Alison L

27 June 2018  
Impeccable service, great atmosphere, excellent food. Perfect spot for impressing clients, friends or family! Lovely location in Covent Garden too.

Angela B

27 June 2018  
Amazing food and service.

anne R

28 March 2018  
Food & Drink 4
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Excellent for Pre theatre
Lovely place and excellent, friendly and attentive service. The pre theatre menu is good value and the food was of a good quality and very tasty. The starters arrived promptly, but there was slightly too long a wait for the main course, which meant we were slightly rushed for the theatre, but timings are the only complaint. I recommend this for food and service.

Rebecca W

22 August 2017  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 5
Cafe Murano, St James's, London
Cafe Murano is pretty unassuming on the outside.   On the inside, a marble bar dominates the length of the dining room, handy for that quick bowl of lunchtime pasta and a cheeky glass of something.   I loved that the tables had a decent amount of space between them and for a school night there was a nice buzz about the place. It didn't take long before we'd sat down and had ordered a Menabrea beer and the Aperitivo Of The Day 'Tramonto di Luglio' (Myers Rum, Maraschino, Apricot, Sweet & Sour, Lavender bitters). The menu was about to change, but I'm thankful for the selection on offer. The waiting staff were attentive and offered up help when needed, but weren't overbearing in the slightest. We had to have the Angela Hartnett signature arancini (£4.50) (did I mention it's her restaurant?) tightly packed risotto rice infused with truffle oil, rolled into balls and breadcrumbs then deep-fried to the perfect crispness. Salumi with the crispiest Carta di Musica was a good place to start (£12), lots of flavourful meat but the clear winner was the Finocchio or fennel-studded salami. A well-risen, pillow-soft Rosemary focaccia came with a small saucer (more's the pity) of Planeta olive oil. We made relatively light work of the plates and moved to the Antipasti.  A good-sized portion of octopus, potato and caper leaves lasted no longer than the click of the iPhone (£10.50).  Salted and chopped tentacles worked well with the creamy salad potatoes and pickled caper leaves. The Tagliatelle Amatriciana with grated pecorino was a well-chosen classic (£10.50/£17.00) and didn't disappoint. Lovely ribbons of fresh-egg pasta were tossed in a fresh tomato sauce with a generous grated topping of sharp and salty Pecorino. Mr opted for the Spaghettini, anchovies and pangrattato (£10.00/£16.50).  Again no surprise that the supplier of fresh pasta to Fortnum's around the corner is pretty good at making a good pasta. Being a huge fan of anchovies, he lapped up the dish of flavours, which was crowned with a breadcrumb and chilli crumb. I thought I was full by this time and then spotted the courgette fritti (£3.75) I managed to work my way through a bowl of deep-fried, batter coated chips of courgette.  Amazing. Mr ploughed on to the Secondi.  Beef rump, stracchino, San Marzano and basil (£21.00).  What a joy to taste this plump Italian tomato, grown at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, sweet, dark red with the richness of the beef, which cut like butter, draped with creamy stracchino cheese.  A perfect plate of food. In fairness I was full but the salted caramel baked chocolate panna cotta was winking, heavily.   This was the only dish which left me slightly disappointed.  Sure it was creamy, and a nice set but the depth of flavour just wasn't there, even drizzled with a salted caramel sauce.  That said, I ate the whole thing, so it wasn't that bad. Lastly, the team at Cafe Murano saw it was my Birthday on my booking.  I love a Happy Birthday plate and they didn't disappoint. What a lovely evening.  Shame it was a school night.  I know we would have stretched it out and will return, without question.
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