It’s probably the best time ever to eat Italian in London: street eats like Cheeky Italian, Fundi Pizza, Franco Manca and Pizza Pilgrims have definitely raised the quality bar on Southern European goodness in the capital, and newly-opened Canto Corvino shows you can serve amazing Italian food for a good price. But there’s an Italian restaurant that you will never ever forget, giving London the best of the best Italian food – some of which you won’t even find in Italy. It’s the City of London’s L’Anima.
Situated in the heart of London’s financial district on 1 Snowden Street, L’Anima is one of my personal favourites, guaranteed to make me feel better even when I feel terribly homesick. That’s because, together with classic Italian dishes like Risotto al Grana Padano with porcini mushrooms, L’Anima cooks up an impressive selection of delicacies from my motherland Sardinia.
Start off with L’Anima’s Manzo Crudo con Tartufo Nero e Uova di Quaglia (Chopped Raw Beef with Black Truffle and Quail Egg, £16.50) a starter with a kick that will get you in the mood for all the amazing food to come.
Take for instance their Pappardelle al Ragù di Cinghiale (Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu, £13.50/£17.50) or their Ravioli di Crostacei in Brodo di Astice (Langoustine and Prawn Filled Ravioli with Spicy Lobster Broth, £18, pictured here): innovative yet typical dishes like this are hard to find both in London and in Italy.
Their impressive list of Primi Piatti demands more than just one visit. Don’t miss out on some of my favourites, the Tortelli di Barbabietola con Burrata e Ricotta Affumicata con Aceto Balsamico ‘Famiglia Gottardi’ (Beetroot Tortelli with Smoked Burrata, Ricotta and Aged Balsamic Vinegar, £14.50/£19.50).
For a main that’s as Sardinian as it gets, go for their Fregola Sarda con Astice e Cime di Rapa (Lobster Fregola and Turnip Tops, £26.50) or for the Malloreddus al Grano arso e Gamberi di Mazara (Hand-made Malloreddus with Mazara Prawns, £17.50).
To finish, try the extremely instagrammable Tortino di Mandorle e Lamponi con Gelato allo Yogurt (Raspberry and Almond Tart with Liquorice Crumble, £10.00). However, if you’re looking for real Sardinian desserts, try L’Anima’s Seadas with Harbutus Honey and Nougat Ice Cream (£8.50), a typical honey cake to drink with a shot of Mirto (£7.00), a Sardinian digestif.
Sardinia never feels as close as when I’m at L’Anima.
Pictures: Carolina Are