A trip to the Italian lakes in the heart of Kensington, Como Garden opened earlier this summer with its offering of ‘Italian tapas’, combining some of the most popular dishes from all over the country. From the team behind Zuaya London just next door, entrepreneur twins Arian and Alberto Zandi, Como Garden is bedecked in greenery, a botanical haven of foliage and hanging plants, its Italian green and cream hues reminiscent of a lakeside terrace. It is rather alluring to be honest, given the atrocious British weather, to pretend one is back enjoying an Italian summertime sojourn…
Como Garden’s menu is a feast of Italian fare, from antipasti like arancini, stuffed peppers and beef carpaccio to delicate homemade pastas, and grilled meats and seafood, along with lighter dishes like the Sicilian orange salad with olives and cashew nuts or puy lentil & apple with sweet vinaigrette. We’ll come to the desserts in a minute…
Unable to resist an Italian feast and relive to joy of summer holidays past, we jumped at the chance to visit and suffice to say didn’t leave disappointed. The cocktail menu is enough to lure you. Go straight for their Italian list; the Como Fizz – made with gin, basil, lemon, sugar and cucumber – is a delight, utterly refreshing and dangerously delicious.
The aforementioned beef carpaccio comes loaded with pesto and a sprinkling of parmesan, melt in the mouth tender, flakes of flavourful beef devoured in a moment. A creamy pine-nut stuffed burrata on a bed of rocket was accompanied with richly ripe tomatoes for the holy trinity of Italian flavours, while a bowl of crisp calamari took us straight back to the Amalfi coast.
We sampled an utterly divine gnocchi drenched in molten gorgonzola and sprinkled with honeyed walnuts, incomparably delicious. Sorry to the pesto trofie, though rather tasty in its own right it was second best. You’d be remiss to avoid the secondi; try the octopus with roasted potatoes and gremolata and you won’t be disappointed.
What can we say about dessert. We had a spectacularly light panna cotta but the Como Ferrero Rocher, oh my. It does what it says on the tin; a giant bomb of chocolate and hazelnuts, rich and decadent and not for the fainthearted. We’d recommend one between two.
With a few new seasonal dishes on the menu since our visit we’re tempted by a return; this is Italian dining at its London finest.
37-45 Kensington High Street