Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Luca

Gold Award

Occupying a striking multi-room space that gives the touchstones of 1950s design a contemporary facelift, this second venture from Clove Club maestro Isaac McHale and his ‘Young Turk’ chums is an unrelentingly style-conscious venue that looks the part with its bare tables, fabulous lighting, leather upholstery and mirrors.

Luca is also billed as a ‘Britalian’ restaurant, and the kitchen makes its mark by fusing seasonal British ingredients with the vigorous traditions of Italian cuisine: “sublime” handmade pasta is an unmissable highlight (perhaps bucatini with kale pesto, Calabrian chilli and Castelmagno cheese), but we wouldn’t ignore bigger plates such as best end of Hebridean lamb with crisp sweetbreads and spiced carrots or Cornish monkfish with Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnuts and butter.   

Bookending the traditional four-course menu are moreish antipasti and cleverly crafted desserts – from whipped salted cod with mussels and peperonata or burrata with winter panzanella to freshly churned ice creams, affogato or pannetone bread-and-butter pudding with Solerno custard. We also adore the Parmesan fries that are offered as a warm-up.   

Luca’s beautifully designed bar is handy for drinks, express lunches and pre-theatre, while its two private rooms are “great spaces” for a celebratory bash: readers particularly like the dedicated Pasta Room (a working space for the chefs during the day), although the Italian-style Garden Room also has a special allure all its own.

A cluster of tip-top Champagnes and a brace of Sussex sparklers add variety to the “exceptional” Italian regional wine list, while ever-attentive, exceedingly helpful staff get top marks all round.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Lively
Group dining [8+], Special occasions

This venue also offers

Private Group Dining


Location for Luca

88 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH

020 3859 3000


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -5pm)

Reviews of Luca

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7 Reviews 

Lynette H

06 August 2019  
Lovely good and atmosphere and very easy booking system for their private dining.


28 June 2019  
Original food beautifully cooked.

David H

Good cooking here .
20 January 2019  
Our first visit on a Saturday lunchtime; I mentioned on the phone that we may try the set lunch, for which we were banished to the bar rather than the restaurant proper. A bit strange in that we ended up with 4 courses, and they were on the phone initially keen that we sit on bar stools rather than at a table or booth- which we've decided isn't the way we like to eat a restaurant meal, but sensibly they relented and we got a perfectly comfortable booth. Still don't really understand why we couldn't get in a half empty restaurant though? Anyway the meal we had today was delightful- tasty spicy lamb arancini snack; followed by a small course of Gnocchi with cacio e pepe. This was to both of us the highlight , the sauce emulsified perfectly and strongly flavoured as it should be, the gnocchi bearing no relation at all to anything you might buy at a supermarket. They were light, almost floaty , with a supremely delicate flavour. Frankly just give me 3-4 courses of that and forget the rest! Not that the rest was in any way poor. We both picked the duck confit from the 4 mains on offer, and whilst this is something I'd tend to associate with a gastropub rather than an Italian restaurant, it was cooked and presented very nicely with green lentils and a side of wonderful roast potatoes with fennel seeds . Dessert was an intensely flavoured lemon tart with a little fennel ice cream. We enjoyed our bottle of a Puglian Primitivo too. Service was pleasant and decently paced throughout. The 3 course set meal is £23 and we thought this was extremely fair for food of this quality, albeit that portions tend to be small. With service and a bottle of wine , we left with a bill for £92. Go again- I'm sure we will, just so long as they don't refuse to give us comfortable to sit!
Food & Drink

Chris H

Garden Room
12 September 2018  
We had another great celebration lunch in the Garden Room last week. The staff were very efficient. The food as good as ever. Their wine list is exceptional. Well worth a visit.
Food & Drink


01 August 2018  
Staff very attentive and can't do enough to help, food sublime, atrium and outdoor space make the best dining areas. Private rooms (esp the Pasta Room) are great spaces.

Chris H

Private Dining
29 June 2018  
As a result of seeing a recommendation by Square Meal last year regarding private dining rooms, we booked the Pasta Room at Luca for our 2017 Christmas celebration for 10 people and then booked the Garden Room in June 2018 for 8 people to celebrate a 60th birthday. We selected the £55 per head set menu and the restaurant accommodated all the various dietary requirements we have. They have an excellent wine and drink list. We plan on returning to Garden Room in September 2018 for another celebration.
Food & Drink

Sue Y

15 June 2017  
Inventive menu, good quality ingredients, friendly service. Been a couple of times and enjoyed the ambience at the bar.
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