The name makes you think of an Asian restaurant, but not only is it not (it’s Italian), it is from the super Chef force of nature, michelin starred Chef Jason Atherton. Does that make it automatically good, well let’s see.
Firstly, it is in the new super development in Victoria, called Nova. Victoria is changing before our eyes. Gone are the industrial dirty old buildings and just being famous for a big connection station and home of coaches, they are well and truly investing to make this a destination spot. Nova popped up a year ago and has a list of spots such as ETM’s Greenwood, Vagabond, the lovely Stoke House and the soon to be landing Bone Daddies and Stick & Sushi – so it is definitely somewhere you can mozy on down to. Is Hai Cenato one of those places which will become a draw, I am not sure (that rhymed).
Firstly, as welcoming as the gang are, the spot itself is a weird layout on the ground floor. Firstly, the big glass doors have a wee bit of missing edged area which allows for the cold to get in. Whilst there is a big thick curtain draped over the door, it doesn’t quite work that well if you are seated near. Then you have the restaurant low seating to the right and the high stools to the left. You have an open kitchen which is a little lack lustre, as most of the activity seems to happen to the rear. The layout is just weird. Thank god the food were enormous portions and very tasty.
I am still confused about the sound of the venue name in correlation to the type of food it offers, but hey – I gave it a go. There was pizza blanca with taleggio, girolle mushrooms, caramelised mushrooms, thyme and garlic. My friend who ordered this attacked it with enthusiasm as she was hungry, it was a big thumbs up for her. Me, I fancied myself as having a bigger stomach than I thought and ordered, wait for it, the most gorgeous parmesan and herb arancini with aged prosciutto – to die for. There is more, I ordered the grilled octopus and Cornish squid with paimpo beans, chicken stock emulsion, nduja (my favourite) and san marzano tomatoes. Bear in mind these were supposed to be small plates – not so much! A side of chips pushed me over the edge. The food was soooooo tasty, well seasoned and perfectly cooked.
I likey. The space I am unsure of, even the name, but the food eclipses all of those concerns.
2 Sir Simon Milton Square
London SW1 5DJ