L’Anima is Italian for soul (I didn’t know that, I just saw it on their website) and their food has got all of that and so much more. The restaurant is sleek and glass fronted, right at home in the city with tables full of suit clad diners. Our clients love going there and have been more than a few times in the last two weeks, so they requested that we meet there for our Christmas lunch.
The restaurant was most accomodating with our booking as we were running 45 minutes late. The service was impeccable and we were quickly seated with our Rossini’s and Bellini’s. Very Miami Vice, but retro is back right? The plump greener than green olives were amazing and so was the bread, which I HAD to tuck into as it was now 3pm, I was one Miami Vice drink down and had no food in my belly.
This situation didn’t last long. The other three in my group ordered the truffle pasta for a starter (a snip at £38 a plate). On the menu it said that the truffles were carefully chosen by Franceso and I wondered if that was the truffle pig, but a tall Italian man was pointed out to me in the kitchen – this was Francesco the head chef and owner. He came over to our table to shake hands with our clients, how nice to be appreciated as a regular customer!
To start I had scallops with salsa verde and it arrived looking ever so elegant, with the scallops nestled into the scallop shell and the shell perched high on a mound of seasalt. It tasted as delicious as it looked and maybe they heated the shell because even my last scallop was piping hot. The truffle pasta was even better, but if I ate a whole plate of that I couldn’t have eaten my delicious pork belly. Bring on the crackling. The sauce that went with it was called N’cantanata, a mix of honey, spices and paprika – a thick paste of it was artfully scraped across the plate.
I also had a taste of beef tagliata, which came draped over a marrow bone that served as a meaty throne. It melted in my mouth, beautiful! I chose best with mine though, it even looked better than the eye fillet and it was just the right amount.
This restaurant hits all the right notes, with the look and feel and most importantly the food and drink. I also like the fact they have a list of definitions on their menu so you don’t feel like a dumb ass having to ask about ingredients that you’re not familiar with. They’ve done well to have such a first year in the city, with the financial turmoil that has defined 2009. Awards abound for them and so does their customer loyalty. I can see why, I’ll be back too – but maybe on the company credit card as a meal and drinks for four cost over £500.
L’anima, 1 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ