The first thing that strikes you about L’anima Cafe is that it doesn’t seem like a cafe at all. It is set in a sprawling contemporary space with modern furnishings. There is a futuristic island bar, slotted next to a wood fired oven for pizza. The seating is well spaced out with formal place settings and the length of the room feels like a catwalk as you proceed to your table. It is a showpiece, with sidewalk views to look out on to, but also for people to look in with envy.
On arrival you are greeted by smiling receptionists. Once seated, you notice the team around you work the room like a theatre production. The menu is simple, on one page which for lunch, should make it easy to eat and go, or so you would think. The dishes all sound tantalizing and it was a task to decide what we wanted. In fact we kept changing our minds. Our advice to you is get your servers attention as soon as you make a decision or you will start to change your mind again, and again.
The dining guests vary from young professionals to suited business types. The style is formal, but not stuffy. You will feel comfortable, whoever you are. Ordering was a treat as the team know their products. Simple questions were answered with confidence.
Our dining journey began with tuna carpaccio with chilli, lemon and spring onion. The tuna was so delicate and the lemon did not overpower the taste at all. Of course I opted for the burrata. I am becoming more and more of an expert on this having tasted it in no less than five places of late. It was a good portion, creamy with the right partnership of soft versus firm. The cherry tomatoes it came with, were flavoursome.
Onto the main course we continued with a sea theme. My companion had the seared prawns and grilled courgettes. This was coated with tasty breadcrumbs. The prawns were plentiful and meaty. I had the grilled salmon with Jerusalem artichokes. A big yes for the salmon. There is nothing worse than dry meat, but this was moist, cooked to perfection. The portions are large but with our eyes being bigger than our belly, we had a side of caponata which is grilled aubergine, peppers and celery. We were gutted that we did not have the space to try the gorgeous selection of desserts on offer. Maybe next time.
I know people use the phrase “hidden gem” a lot, but this is the perfect description for this cafe. It is off the beaten track behind Liverpool Station, so you could miss it. In a way that is a good thing, as only those in the know come along and we all like to have our little secret spots we go to. Next door, they have an all day deli and around the corner is the fine dining super formal restaurant. They have well and truly made their mark on the ground floor of this office building and with Amazon HQ opening across the road, they will see a new wave of clientele fighting for their Italian magic.
10 Appold Street
London EC2A 2AP