For one thing – the pasta. Oh, the pasta. An essential element for the success of an Italian-influenced menu means homemade ribbons, twists and pouches of this beloved staple. Thankfully David Carter (Smokestak) and Chris Leach (Petersham Nurseries and Kitty Fisher’s) have done their research and nailed the execution. The results are expertly-crafted dishes that take advantage of some delightful seasonal ingredients.
Satisfying, slippery twists of tonnarelli cacio e pepe arrived in a luxuriantly thick sauce bolstered by fresh crab; garganelli pasta collected a deliciously rich, deep terracotta ragu of spicy pig tail in its ridged cylinders; bulging envelopes of sweetcorn ravioli burst with summery flavours yet remained expertly balanced with the earthiness of girolles and a delicate pepper-hit of nasturtium leaves. Even on one of the hottest days of the year, our appetite for this classic comfort food wasn’t abated.
There are more tricks up the sleeves of Carter and Leach, though – one being the in-house butchery, which puts all of the animal to good use. Take, for example, the pigs from Fred Price at Gothelney Farm. The whole animal is broken down so they can use shoulder for coppa and speck; belly for pancetta, and loin for chops.
These chops are a highlight of the menu – succulent and tender, spiked with an aniseed kick and paired with caramelised fennel. Menu ennui is deftly averted with a daily changing selection, but if you get a chance to try the pink fir potatoes, don’t swerve them. And for vibrant dishes that sing with the spirit of the tamer months, order the gazpacho with a mound of fresh Cornish crab, and the vividly green bowl of pea and summer vegetable ragu.
Oh, and be sure to leave room to try the heavenly cannolo filled with with whipped sheep’s milk ricotta, candied orange peel and salted caramelised hazelnuts.
10 Heddon Street might occupy a swanky Mayfair address, but that doesn’t mean it’s all white tablecloths and stiff service. In fact, there’s something wonderfully informal about a meal here. High ceilings, rustic wooden tables and booths, and the open kitchen all benefit from the natural light streaming through large, front-facing windows.
The sound of chinking cutlery and happy chatter mixes with shoulder-shimmying house tunes, and the ambience is as cool as the Amaro Spritz we began our meal with. What’s more, the staff couldn’t be more hospitable. With all these elements in the mix, 10 Heddon Street gets full marks from us.
|What||10 Heddon Street restaurant, Mayfair review|
|Where||10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information|