Ordered: Tonnes of food, but a MUST is the Black Scotch Beef Tagliata, deep fried Zucchini, Fettucini with wild truffles,
Price: £32.50 for Black Scotch Beef Tagliata, £22 for Fettucini. Per Head: £50-£100.
Review: Having been here a few times since 2010, I know what to order. You know it is going to be a hit with your mouth....does that even make sense. Anyway - if you're feeling Italian, and feeling frivolous - book a table here. The bar is also quite a pleasant scene...just make sure it isn't empty...ie go on a thursday/friday as it is on the borders of the city when it gets busy....do not reserve the wine room as it gets pretty cold and the waiters come in and out for the wines - can be a little annoying....otherwise....FEELING LIKE FANCY ITALIAN? L'ANIMAAAAAA
Large restaurant, city style expensive Italian.
The menu is slightly too simple, and prices are way over the quality of food you are getting.
Clearly living on its reputation, the talent is gone from behind the stoves.
Yet - some - of the staff still live in the times past of its fame and glitter: they treat you with disdain if you don't look like a banker.
Forget this place, please...
I'm really surprised at the reviews here. I went to yelp looking for a good Italian spot with decent reviews. There are lots of 4-5 star reviews here and honestly can't figure out why.
From a food perspective, the quality of the food terrible. Firstly, it's an Italian restaurant and they have minimal choices for pasta - which is something I was craving. I ended up ordering a seafood pasta. Check out the photos - the portion was super small (for £12.50 it's a ripoff) and wasn't even proper pasta! There is a wide selection of pizzas and a stone baked oven, however, the quality of the pizzas were terrible. Greasy, thicker crust, heavy and minimal toppings. Never again.
From a service perspective, however, there were lots of staff and very attentive. They were friendly as well. The ambiance to the place was good with large windows and a number of booths to sit at. It's just a pitty about the food. I won't be going again.
I want to go back to L'Anima on a normal night (I went for an Action for Hunger event) but I can only think it will be even better when I do. The food was amazing. Pasta with clams is a favourite dish of mine so I was on a winner pretty much straight away. Lamb, cannelloni beans and spinach..you can't go wrong. Plus all the appertizers (cured meats in lots of forms, squid, the list went on and on..). Great night, great food.
Good food but service was lacking. Drink order was forgotten and we had to ask for it again. The servers did not seem to understand English very well as there seemed to be confusion throughout the meal. We loved the pumpkin soup! Rich and a bit chunky, it was great for a cold blustery day.
Overall a nice restaurant and lovely decor.
Linguine with hand picked crab, chilli, and amalfi lemon
Chestnut pappardelle with Gressingham duck ragout and pistachio
City folk flock here. Yes.
It's a pricey meal. Yes.
You need to get over the first two points and treat yourself. Yes yes yes.
Chef Francesco Mazzei = perfectionist = perfection.
Very very good. It actually has been a while since I have been impressed so much by a restaurant.
The space is sleek and modern, but rather cold. Service though is one of the best I have ever had. Lots of attention, but never too much and careful about even the smallest detail.
About the food: I had a grilled scallop appetizer that was really elegant, fresh and full of sea aromas. My main entree was the marsala and duck liver risotto. That was the best executed risotto I ever had, very elegant and powerful at the same time. The chocolate cake dessert was very impressive as well, with a nice touch of saffron pear. Espresso was one of the best I ever had in my life as well.
Prices are not attractive, but honestly, I would never expect that I would pay less for something like this anyway. I cannot give a lower rating just because of price...
I have to agree with journalists who consistently rated L'Anima as one of the best Italian restaurants in the City. The food is eye wateringly expensive (£80 for a 7 course meal) but luckily my employer picked up the bill.
The clientele are predominantly city workers so wearing a suit meant that I blended in. L'Anima consists of a bar/meeting area with the dining area separated by a glass petition. The restaurant has tiled floors throughout which makes it quite loud but adds to the atmosphere.
I would definitely eat here again, provided that someone else is paying!
Disclaimer: I've been here three times and I have never been the one paying, so please bear this in mind.
L'Anima's one of the best restaurants in London and is suitable for just about anything: team lunches, entertaining clients and, in the evening, dates (because of the atmospheric lighting and live piano playing). The set lunch is of particularly good value (two courses for around £24 and three for under £30).
This is one of the few places I know which serve burrata. The best way I have to describe it is that it's a posher, creamier and much-better version of mozzarella. If you've not had this, and you're a cheese-lover, you simply have to try it at least once. After that, you'll be hooked.
In terms of the mains, I've heard the black pig belly and the rabbit Siciliana are particularly good. Sadly for me, I have tended to come here on days when I'm not eating meat, so haven't had the opportunity to try them out.
Desserts are also good. I like anything with chocolate so would recommend the Calibrian iced truffle.
Service has always been attentive and friendly whenever I was there, although it does tend to be better if you happen to be with someone who can speak Italian. And while I didn't witness this myself, my dining companion said the waiter seemed to note the tip he left with contempt during my most recent visit, despite the fact that he added on an amount on top of the 12.5% that was already added to the bill.
Still, as I said, I didn't witness it personally, and I haven't had a bad experience here ever. It may be in a seemingly isolated location, but it's just over five minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch, so there's plenty around should you wish to go somewhere else to continue drinking, chatting, etc.
We found L'Anima after deciding we fancied an Italian meal near our hotel and found it on Qype.
The restaurant is on the ground floor with an open and brightly lit interior and a view of the kitchen; the staff were friendly and helpful. There were a couple of specials based on the fact that they had a white truffle, and they brought the truffle to the table in a jar.
The starters (£9.50-18.00) were very good, but the mains (£12.50-33.50) were even better: a piece of tuna with some vegetables, and slow roasted black pig belly with a sauce. The puddings were excellent too: a 20 minute wait was well worth it for Malaga soufflé (£12.50) and the chocolate cake with saffron pear & mascarpone (£9.00) was lovely too.
The nicest Italian restaurant I've ever had the pleasure to visit.
Food has always been best in class here, and i cant think of an Italian that gets anywhere near this standard in the City. Francesco is a great host, and a real class act (do a cookery course with him on Saturdays if you can, its a real treat). Only limitation in the past was the service but having just eaten there again today i couldnt find fault with it hence the 5-star rating.
I have been recommending this place to people since the summer simply on the basis of word of mouth from people I respect and specifically from people who know and understand Italian cuisine. The theme here is southern Italian especially Calabria as well as the Islands Scicily and Sardinia.
Today is the day I went and had a perfect, faultless lunch.
I can already say I prefer L'Anima ( Italian for Soul ) to Locanda Locatelli ( great food but portion control gone mad) and Enoteca Tui (where the wine list is the star) - by the way for those who think the River Cafe is a serious Italian Restaurant I suggest you click to another review !
The Pappardelli with Wild Boar Sauce, a great winter dish was perfect as was a stunning Sicilian Rabbit a dish that captured everything that is good about food from that Island.
The contorni were perfect - thin , light and crispy fried Zucchini and perfect lime and chilli infused sauted spinach.
The olives and bread were excellent as was my cheese with hazelnut honey - a superb Pecorino Sardo !
Deserts looked amazing too and the wine list is very well selected not just with the great , Barolos , Brunellos and Super Tuscans but some great value wines from the very serious wine makers like , Haas , Felluga , etc. There are also top class wines from France and Spain.
Esspresso ? well perfeto !
I'm really happy for Fracesco Mazzei who left the clutches of Corbin and King those once great restaurateurs who are unfortunateley ruining their good reputations with poor excuses for restaurants like The Wolsey.
Anyway I shall return to try the Black Pig Pork Belly , Safron and Quail Risotto not to mention the top class grilled meats and fish ! As well as deserts of course.
On the left there are raised tables and stools for a quick lunch/dinner and the restaurant also opens for breakfast - apparently excellent too for the local Italian Merchant Bankers who miss their Mamas !
Video link: youtube.com/watch?v=adj1…
The more I think back about this meal the more I realise how much I enjoyed it!
Although it was a private dining and a set menu to choose from the food did not disappoint.
For starter I chose the Octopus a la plancha with cannellini beans & ricotta mustia. The octopus was cooked to perfection and the ricotta was superb. Main was a Slow Roasted black pig belly with n'cantarata sauce. The pork was so tender i could cut it with the fork, and the crackling was tasty. The sauce which is made with honey, paprika and spice was perfect. Dessert was a panna cotta with passion fruit sorbet. This was as expected but the tang of the sorbet was brilliant. I can't go past passion fruit!
Although pricey, the food was amazing and the service was 5 star. The only thing I didn't like was the private dinning room we had. It was a 'cavern' and the acoustics were terrible which made for interesting dinner conversation to say the least!
L'Anima did not live up to my expectations at all. I'd heard about it all over the place as it seemed that everyone had been there and loved it. I always just suspected it would be too expensive for my taste, so did not go until I saw it was participating in the London Restaurant Festival.
The restaurant is kind of in the middle of nowhere, and is a bit of a surprise as it is in the bottom of a new build office complex. It's large, light and white which is so different from the basement dives I am used to in the City. The kitchen is open to view right behind the diners and provides a fascinating look into a working high end kitchen. I don't know if Masterchef exaggerates but these staff seemed pretty cool and calm, joking around and relaxing. There were tons of staff, which provided a good service but was also a bit frustrating. It seemed that every 5 minutes someone was putting down cutlery, or removing it because it was put down incorrectly, or giving us a menu, or giving us a menu again.
The food was a complete disappointment. I went for the festival menu which I hoped would be a showcase of the best L'Anima could do. The starter of langoustine with beans was absolutely lovely, but not out of this world. My main of salt cod on red peppers was completely bland. If the presentation wasn't so nice and the cod wasn't so well cooked I could have been at any restaurant. There were no flavours, and I was not inspired to eat it. Likewise, my fiancees pasta with homemade sausage tasted like something we whipped up in about 10 minutes the other night. The only saving grace was my dessert, rhubarb ice cream with little cakes. It was absolutely fantastic but why did they have to stick two woody sticks into the top? Bizarre.
I feel like I might have missed a trick as it got such good reviews elsewhere, but with the mains mostly around the GBP20 mark, I won't be coming back to try it out again. It really felt like a corporate expense type place and the amount of suits, even on a Friday night, was testament to that.
Decor: Light and white. It screams high end, but not really cozy.
Price: Expensive. For two courses expect to pay a total of around GBP 40+, and most wines started at GBP40
Food: Nicely presented, average tasting.
Good For: Corporate entertainment.
The chef at L'anima, Francesco Mazzei, was hotly tipped for a Michelin star earlier this year. Thankfully for London diners he didn't get it, meaning that the prices had not yet been jacked up for my visit the other week! The arrival of the star is surely inevitable though - this place serves up some of the finest Italian food in London, in stylish surroundings, accompanied by a great wine list and really excellent service.
The inspiration here is the south. The menu is dominated by ingredients and recipes from Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia, and the presentation is precise but not overly fussy. The highlight for me (apart from the rhubarb and prosecco aperitivo...) was the veal ragu with pistachio - freshly made pasta, perfectly al dente, with a classic ragu cut through by a refreshing hint of pistachio. A wonderfully modern take on an Italian staple.
Highly, highly recommended, although bear in mind that it is not cheap. We spent £85 a head (aperitivi, 3 courses and wine).
Very inventive, delicious fayre, great winelist and smart decor.
Always busy and I love going there. And I'm always glad I'm not paying!
very tasty dishes. creative and authentic
very good staff too
Stylish, expensive city boy restaurant - I seemed to be the only female in the restaurant apart from the waitresses. The food was gorgeous and innovative, and made a great change from heavy French cooking at other restaurants of the same calibre. The bar looked busy and cool as well.
Having heard good things about L'Anima I decided to try it out. The first impression a diner gets is the beautiful decor--ultra modern and very clean, but a little cold (visually and temperature-wise). My partner and I were let down by the service: two courses arrived at the table when one of us was not there, and we often found ourselves waiting a bit longer than we should've before plates were cleared or before the next course arrived. The appetizer (veal) was very good, as was the pasta (pumpkin and sage), but my main disappointing: I had the steak, which I found bland, but I guess that's what I get for ordering steak at an Italian restaurant. Still, if it's not up to par with the rest of the menu, it should be revised before being offered. My partner's lamb was good, and she quite enjoyed the cheese plate at the end. The wine selection was good and the sommelier was very helpful in pointing us to a full-bodied red to pair with our meal.
All told the meal came to £200 (of which the wine was £60). The food was good overall (with the exception of my steak) but the service was a letdown, and for the price we expected better. It was my partner's second time there and she said it was much better the last time she was there, but she had more pasta. Maybe we picked the wrong dishes, but when I think about the cost of the meal in my native currency (about $200, $300 including wine) it just doesn't stack up to restaurants at a comparable price point.
L'Anima's is a great Italian restaurant, the dishes are authentic and mouth watering, well presented and the quality of the ingredients is evident.Delicious, colourful and tempting, excellent dining experience.
the food is above average but not fantastic. The outrageous prices can be only justified by the mostly City bankers population.
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