Fresh Pasta at Kitchen Italia

March 22nd, 2010

Trying to catch up on writing up some of the experiences I’ve had at restaurants recently, it seems like I have run fairly short on time over the past couple of weeks. Might as well start with the less than originally titled Kitchen Italia, a relatively new and small chain that has sprung up in a couple of sweet spots in London.

I first bumped into Kitchen Italia at Westfields whilst hunting out some pre-gig grub near Shepherds Bush Empire. First impressions weren’t all that fantastic and I have to say with chain restaurants that really does put a dampener on visiting others in the chain. The service was pretty much non-existent, though the waiters did make extra sure that everyone knew where the toilets were (have they had some disaster story we should all know about?!)

The food was reasonable at the Westfields branch, however for the price I find myself poking around amongst the pasta wondering if they couldn’t have been a little more generous with the spicy sausage that seemed somewhat lacking in my dish.

Despite initial apprehension I also gave the Covent Garden branch a go.  Things are a similar story for the most part, they have the same long social tables (you know, the ones where everybody glares as anybody else sits down at the table), mostly empty too so the atmosphere was a bit dull.

Food was of a much better quality though with very fresh tasting pasta and lots of flavour in both mine and Josh’s dishes. I had aubergine and goats cheese tortellini with cap0nata  which was really nice if a little small, along with some arancini because the main wasn’t filling enough. Josh had some angel hair pasta with black truffles which he swears was delicious.

All in all not bad, but if I was to be blunt, it is only a pasta place, the food is fairly expensive, the wine is ridiculously over-priced, and the service wasn’t all that in either branch.

Seems if they’re going to expand further it’d be worth evaluating price and service before doing so, get it right at the restaurants you started with and all that.

Have your own say