Last week I was lucky enough to dine at Luca, Farringdon’s newest Italian on the block brought to us by The Clove Club gang. Luca’s cuisine comes with an Italian heritage but made with and using British produce, hence the new labelling they have given their food – Britalian. I’ll be honest I’m not sure that this will catch on but I guess it says what it is on the tin. The restaurant itself on St John Street has three areas; bar, restaurant and conservatory, with a couple of private dining rooms as well. Built across three different centuries the building has a lot of character that has been tailored into a bright, welcoming and sophisticated hot spot.
To start we shared some Antipasti plates between the six of us which meant we were able to sample the Whipped Salt Cod, Burrata with raf tomatoes, Roast Orkney Scallops, Shaved Fennel Salad and the Tartare of Hereford Cured Beef. My favourite was without a doubt the whipped salt cod which I’ve never had before and was served with sweet peppers, peppery rocket, olives and croutons. I’d also highly recommend the Roast Orkney Scallops with Jerusalem artichoke and ‘nduja, the creaminess of the artichoke sauce complimented the tender smooth scallop whilst the spicy salami ‘nduja paste added that pop of flavor to each mouthful.
For my Pasta course I ordered the Spaghettini with Morecambe Bay shrimp and mace butter which was cooked al dente to absolute perfection. Whenever I try to cook pasta at home that would make an Italian nonna proud I fail miserably, either under cooking it so that I almost crack a tooth or over cooking it to the point of sogginess. With such a fine line I’m still blown away each time I’m served a perfect plate of pasta by how much the entire dish tastes better. The Morecambe Bay shrimp really came through in the flavor of the sauce and was heightened by the nutty yet sweet mace butter which coated the brown spaghettini having been lightly tossed. A dish that was extremely enjoyable and brought together by the flavour of each ingredient.
Next up I ordered the Roast Saddle of milk fed Lamb, bay and rosemary infused milk, morels and broad beans. As you will have probably already realised reading my blogs I’m a sucker for a Lamb dish and I’ve also been attempting to put the menu down as soon as I’ve found something I like. Not only was the lamb top of the Main dishes but it completely sold me stating it was milk fed lamb, surely that’s got to be good right? Oh yes it was, extremely good in fact, like so good I don’t think I uttered a word other than to say how good it was until I finished. The lamb was so unbelievably tender and the bay and rosemary herbs seeped throughout the meat. The Jersey royal new potatoes, greens and broad beans added a traditional, light and fresh flavor to the dish which balanced against the richer flavor of the lamb.
To say I was full at this point would be an understatement but my arm was twisted and I shared a dessert. So happy I did as the Vanilla and Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Yorkshire Rhubarb finished my Britalian meal off fantastically.
Some reviews I read before coming here were mixed with a few saying that it was overpriced. Whilst Luca is at the higher end when it comes to price the taste and quality of the food, attentive service and atmosphere made it worthwhile. The company wasn’t too bad either 🙂
Luca, 88 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH
Follow @LucaRestaurant on Twitter
Or on Facebook @Lucarestaurantlondon