Reviews, South

Union Street Café

We all know the hype surrounding the latest Ramsey restaurant but non-existent Beckham rumours aside we had a table for 4 for Sunday lunch.

Surprisingly I counted at least 5 empty tables which goes against the reported 10,000 bookings that were supposed to have been taken. Perhaps they got lost in the Tate.

The space had a safe industrial-lite feel to it, not quite east London but we felt at home none the less. Staff were friendly and attentive without being in the slightest bit annoying.

The menu however was a little annoying. The writing so swirly it could barely be read, the descriptions mainly in Italian which meant you needed your smart phone at the ready to discreetly Google. Despite this I still managed to mistake Pollo for Polpo – Octopus and Chicken are not two things you want to mix up. Whoops.

The menu is split into Aperitivo, Antipasti, Prima, Secondi and Formaggi & Dolci.

Wanting to try as much as possible we opted to share starters. Deliciously creamy burrata came with a light bean salad while the calamari came beautifully presented. The buffalo mozzarella parma ham parcel was a little salty but very morish and sat atop juicy marinated peppers.

For the pasta course we opted for Gnocchi di patate, guanciale & robiola – essentially a very naughty dish of doughy gnocchi in a ridiculously indulgent creamy cheese sauce with extra crispy bacon to give the texture. I personally could not have managed the dish to myself and was glad to be sharing it!

Next came the unfortunate Pollo/Polpo incident which well trained staff quickly put right despite being completely our fault. The stand out dish here was the lamb neck which melted on a bed of roasted veg in a marsala jus, finished with shavings of delicate ricotta. Saltimbocca di vitello, Marsala & fried zucchini were also strong but not enough to go half’s on my lamb!

Desserts were a little hit and miss. Formaggio came with 2 slices of walnut bread and red onion chutney but just the one type of cheese. The portion was generous and I’d rather half had this split across 2 types of cheese. Budino d`amaretti & cacao was really special, the wobbly panna cotta style pud was finished with amaretti crunchy biscuits. For me I found the sponge a disappointment and far too dry once you’d finished the ice-cream. Gorgonzola gelato sounded interesting but unfortunately we just didn’t have room.

A nice destination choice if you happen to get hungry while wandering around the Tate – this is not a restaurant you will stumble upon. Which is handy as you’ll need to book ahead like the other 10,000 people.
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