Casting around for a place to take my team for lunch, I settled on this place. Simple enough, it would seem plenty of inoffensive pasta options and other staples if there was a non-pescatarian in the group. So, we ended up ordering variations on a theme of fishy pasta., and hence I'll confine my comments to this.
The service was attentive to begin with, and when it came time to pay, but things went to pot in the middle. We were presented with plates of lobster ravioli ( which we hadn't ordered). When the right food did arrive, it was very pleasant; a clam-heavy linguini was just as advertised, but a prawn and courgette version came with two ( count 'em) prawns, albeit pretty beef. I think the latter was a bit rich for £10 plate I reckon something like £2 worth of ingredients, max.
In summary, I can't knock the quality, but I'd be careful what you order otherwise you may be a little underwhelmed.
Although the restaurant was empty, and we were the first ones for lunch, the service was still terrible. It was as though we didn't exist. The waiter eventually came and took half the table's drink order, and then inexplicably walked away.
Although Aldo Zilli walked out into the deserted landscape of the restaurant and surveyed his shabby empire, the fact that he was in the kitchen hardly elevated matters. After waiting half an hour for mains, I was hoping for a slice of Italy on a plate. This guy's Italian and on TV, so he should know a thing or two, right? Wrong.
I had papardelle pasta with Italian sausage and "ragu" (I wasn't in a very fishy mood that day); it was overcooked and bland. Not only were they content to make me eat with stained cutlery (and drink out of stained glasses), what turned up in the bowl was a mess. I could have cooked the same thing ten times better.
All in all, I won't be going back. Why this man is a celebrity is quite beyond me. It was honestly like something out of Gordon's Kitchen Nightmares. No wonder this place was empty whilst surrounding businesses were doing a roaring trade.
So the restaurant is a clean simple affair. Staff are pretty attentive. We arrived and there was a small private party in the corner swilling shampoo, and a family on the table next to us with a small boy in a high chair.
So the wine list was 2-3 pages long with a good spread of simple but not stupidly expensive wine. The food menu was all fish, again not complicated, some great flavour's with your firm favourites like oysters, squid, crab, lobster etc. No scampi and Chips. Sorry!!!
So to me here were a couple of price point comparisons to look at other restaurants and see what you are getting (bit simple I know)
Verve Cliquot NV £46 (thats a nice price for London in my books)
Lobster Spaghetti £23 !!!!!!!! I mean thats bloody good value in my books.
So good times and about halfway through the meal we realised that the family sitting next to us was Aldo with his wife Nikki and their son having tea. Aldo was very kind and signed some of his books and had a chat. Now of course that adds to the experience but before that everyone had remarked that the food was amazing. Some of my fellow dinners have apparently dinned at some nice places and still said they were blown away by the taste and quality of food.
In a word, inconsistent.
I ate here with 8 friends, all who had different opinions. My chargrilled squid was great and my ravioli was pretty decent too. However, my friends described their muscles as over done and too gritty, the whitebait taste too fishy (not in the 'fresh from the sea' kind of way!) and the majority of the pastas seemed bland.
Plus the food was overpriced relative to the quality.
A three star rating seems fair, but not a restaurant I am likely to proactively visit again.
This restaurant is out of business. The new restaurant at the same location is called Bill's and is really worth a visit if you are wandering around Soho.
we ventured into this restaurant due to a living social voucher. getting to our reservation was a bit of a nightmare following tube maintenance closures AND street protests (shockingly sad to pass by spray painted anarchy signs and broken store front windows) during our long walk and the hostess was very accommodating to our arriving dreadfully late.
in complete agreement with roland, the staff was super nice and attentive, a very clean restaurant, simple menu.
the only point we would like to make (a consensus among my husband and i) is that if you're going to go through the effort of putting an offer on living social, and thus, knowing full well this is a marketing tool directly resulting in the increased traffic, we thought they would put their best foot forward in the set menu. in this case, the set menu was a glass of house wine and fish and chips. bread was stale. fish was ok but more suitable for a kids' menu portion. house white wine was like sugar water.
the neighboring tables looked like they had interesting dishes - salads, pastas, seafood so our guess is that the other items on the menu are better than the fish and chips.
A below average seafood restaurant. I don't think we had one dish we really enjoyed.
After a truely disapointing lunch earlier in the day at Lock 17. It was such a relief to have a truely superb meal at Zilli! My starter of sardines served with grapefruit and blood orange was wonderful. Followed by salmon and rocket. My freind had mackrel in a coconut sauce which was really interesting. The strong flavours of the mackrel masked by the coconut. Wonderful.! We went for the house white which was pleaseant enough and easy on the pocket at £18. The waiters were friendly and was nice to see the chef bringing out some of the dishes. 2 course dinner was £19 plus wineA great evening..
Having seen fantastic reviews, I went along with high hopes only to be disappointed.
Originally I went along on a top table offer for three courses but quickly realised that in order to take advantage of this & enjoy the fish for which the restaurant was famed, I would have to choose salmon for two courses.
Thus I decided to order from the main menu. Sadly the grilled lobster was finished, but I was offered lobster past which I had to send back because the lobster was so chewy & completely overwhelmed by the rich tomato sauce.
The staff did accept this & I was offered an alternative dish, selecting monkfish. This was better, but not special for the price & I suspect broad beans in late September must have been frozen (wouldn't it be better to choose something in season?).
Service was slow & although they dealt well with my complaint, I can't find much to recommend the overall service.
I had a prosecco & a glass of Pinot Grigio. Whilst both were drinkable, in comparison to other restaurants I've visited in central London I didn't think they were of adequate quality for the price.
In summary, while the restaurant were quick to deal with complaints, from my visit there's a good deal of basic work needed to bring this venue up to the standard that it needs to be at to compete with other local restaurants, particularly given the celebrity name above the door.
Quite pricey, but the food is to die for and the service is beyond reproach. HIghly recomended for lovers of fish and sea food!
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