Fumo

Fumo
37 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ER
Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick
www.sancarlofumo.co.uk/fumo-london

If you haven't heard the term cicchetti by now, you really have to get out more! These Italian 'tapas' have been trending in London for ages. Traditionally, they were bar snacks, eaten in the humble wine bars of Venice. At Fumo, they are nothing of the sort. Top quality food, served with Italian panache, in a lovely, light and airy dining room, in the middle of Covent Garden. You might just wonder if you've died and gone to heaven!

The San Carlo Restaurant Group has been serving up high class Italian food in London for over 28 years! That experience is gold. Executive Chefs Filippo Pagani and Franco Bellamusto and Chef Consigliere, Aldo Zilli have created a glorious menu with ingredients delivered direct from Milan. The only problem is, the selection is so extensive that deciding what to have is torture. Multiple visits seems to be the only solution!

The service is even better than the food. Knowledge, hospitality and competence all come together with flawless Italian flair. When I become a millionaire…

A classic Bellini (£9), fat, juicy olives and tapenade (£3.50) and homemade bread (£3.45) set the scene perfectly. The room too, feels like a glass of bubbles. Light and elegant, with a dash of effervescence.

The menu had me in a tizz. We were advised to choose 5 or 6 plates to share. I narrowed my top picks down to 30! Thankfully, the Maître d' came to our rescue. His recommendations were spot on.

Tartare of fresh tuna (£11.20) was prepared at the table with absolute style. A dollop of mustard, squeeze of lemon, glug of olive oil and ecco, ecstasy on a plate. The art of simplicity.

Burrata with Parma ham and black truffle (£9.95) was another dish of uncomplicated elegance. The mozzarella was excellent and the salty ham a nice change from the usual tomato. The truffle elevated the dish from simple, to simply divine.

Truffle and Pecorino Ravioli (£10.95) is a signature dish with good reason. My guest and I just looked at each other and said, "Mmmmmmmmm!" Don't even think about sharing.

Risotto with lobster and black truffle (£15.95) was not a recommendation from the Maitre d' and my only disappointment. It was tasty, to be sure, but while the rice was cooked in lobster broth, there was no lobster meat at all. I felt a bit cheated on this one.

Prawn and monkfish spiedino (£9.95) and Ribeye with chili, garlic and sweet potatoes were both excellent dishes, though not on a par with the tuna, ravioli and burrata. It's like the difference between stars and super stars.

A bottle of Barolo Tenuta Para (£56.85) was a lovely blend of spice, prune, oak and tannin which got better as the meal progressed.

A gorgeous plate of dessert cicchetti put me over the edge. Cannelloni, panna cotta, chocolate terrine, chocolate cigarettes ...was all a bit too much. Of course I ate every bite. IT'S MY JOB!

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Fumo exterior

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