loti eats: hai cenato

At the rate Jason Atherton opens restaurants, it’s pretty amazing that the quality of food on offer remains so high each time. Hai Cenato, his new opening at the Victoria Nova development, is a bit of a departure for him with a casual Italian menu largely centred around pizzas and pastas.

This is no cute neighbourhood Italian with red and white checked tablecloths, however. Set in a brand new modern building with huge glazing panels, the design is more bistro-style with red leather banquettes and a curious soundtrack of late 90s/early noughties hip-hop cranked up to the max. With tables very tightly packed too, we found ourselves shouting across the table.

The menu has four red pizzas and four white pizzas, cooked in two huge pizza ovens that dominate the open kitchen; there’s also a guest chef pizza each month, with Tom Kerridge taking the reigns for the opening. We went for pasta though, a rich aged beef bolognese, sage burnt butter and fresh rounds of corzetti. We also had a sea bass crudo, fresh and zesty with blood orange and lime.

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Highlight of the mains was a garlic and anchovy studded lamb rump with a side of crispy cracked potatoes and aioli. Dessert was a banger too – a salted caramel gelato ice cream sandwich served in warm brioche. Looks like that’s another one to add to the places to eat in Victoria list…who’d of thought there would ever been enough even to make a list!

2 Sir Simon Milton Square, London, SW1E 5DJ