Well-placed for Earl’s Court and the museums of South Kensington, Evoluzione is the in-house restaurant of the Hotel Xenia on Cromwell Road and, as the name suggests, offers a forward-looking take on Italian cuisine, courtesy of chef Andrea Angeletti.
That might mean roast scallops in a gently curried sauce followed by roasted duck breast with a burnt onion crust and berry sauce, although there’s usually a simple fish dish for plainer tastes: Dover sole or fillet of sea bass, say.
Pasta is a strength – passatelli in a creamy truffle sauce or an eggy tangle of tagliolini – while vegetarians might get a pretty plate of colourful veg with edible flowers atop a moist panade base.
Lunch dishes tend to be lighter, with a strong showing of classic salads, posh sandwiches and comfort food along the lines of deep-fried calamari, asparagus omelette and fillet of beef.
There’s no mistaking you’re dining in a hotel but, on the upside, very friendly staff deliver professional service, tables are well spaced, it’s open for breakfast (full English and veggie, pastries and a buffet) and, should you wish to do more than eat, there’s a bar on the other side of the lobby.
Not so hungry? £29 buys you a platter of cheese and charcuterie with two glasses of wine. Afternoon tea for parties of 12, meanwhile, can be held on the hotel’s rooftop.