The welcome: South Kensington isn’t short of good-quality restaurants, but the very fine Macellaio is a carnivorous paradise. A short walk down the Brompton Road, it sets out a considerable display of bovine carcasses in the window, and then doesn’t really let up from there when it comes to its enthusiasm for all things meat-related. The predominantly male staff are Italian and cheery. As well they ought to be.
The room: A relatively small couple of rooms, an outer space with high tables and stools, and a more cosy back room with chairs and white tiles. The ambience is essentially that of a trattoria in a small Italian town c1990, if that town had had a considerable influx of very fine beef delivered. The crowd is a pan-European mix of English, French, Italian and many more besides, tucking into the food and wine with aplomb.
The food: If you’re a vegetarian, look away now. There is literally nothing for you here. For those of more advanced (or backward) tastes, it’s inconceivable that you will find a more interesting and varied menu anywhere locally. ‘Cicchetti’ of tongue, rolled head meat and carne of beef carpaccio and steak tartare are without frills, but taste absurdly delicious; a bulbous burrata served alongside simply makes the whole thing decadent in the finest possible way.
If you don’t have the tagliata for a main course, you’re missing the point, but there is something incredibly fine about Italian meat, and so it proves here. It’s just as theatrical as a Hawksmoor or a Goodman; firstly, the (substantial) cut is reverentially brought to your table for appropriate acclaim, and then it’s served simply (with rosemary and salt) and extremely well. Coupled with a very decent Pecorino red, it’s about as close to a Roman steakhouse (not words that normally fit together) as you’ll get this side of the Channel. Dessert is perhaps less innovative, but the mixture of deep-fried Nutella doughnut-like objects and a glass of vin santo is always going to win hearts and minds.
Would we go again? The latest restaurant will be opening in Borough imminently; we can’t wait to see if it lives up to its big brother.
|What||Macellaio restaurant, South Kensington|
|Where||Macellaio, 84 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London , SW7 3LQ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
17 Jun 16 – 09 Jun 17, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book your table|