Located in Middle Eight, one of the most sought-after hotels in London, Sycamore Vino Cucina is an all-day Italian restaurant and bar which oozes luxury.
When entering Middle Eight Hotel in Covent Garden, one of the first things you’ll see is a sumptuous and atmospheric bar area with plenty of luxurious corners to relax in. Head past the bar and you’ll reach the more brightly lit restaurant area where Sycamore is located.
Luxurious Dining Space
The atmosphere here is informal and laid-back, with a live DJ and musical talent creating a vibrant and welcoming buzz on certain nights. The restaurant itself is a vast space that showcases mid-century style furniture and lighting, with cosy booths separated by brass and glass screens. There are also larger group tables made of wood, marble and orange textures which create an intimate yet sociable space that works in harmony with the sharing style of food. We choose to sit by the marble open kitchen with first-hand views of the chefs preparing their masterpieces.
Sycamore prides itself on offering a contemporary yet authentic slice of Italy to diners, and there were plenty of dishes we recognised from our travels around the country. Like any good Italian restaurant, the menu is split into antipasti, primi, secondi, pizza, contorni and of course dolci.
Authentic Italian Dishes in London
To start, we ordered creamy burrata with heritage tomatoes, salsa verde, as well as the gamberi alla griglia, grilled prawns with warm potato salad. Both dishes were immaculately presented and bustling with delightful colours. We couldn’t wait to dig in and weren’t disappointed with the crisp and sharp flavours that came through due to the high-quality tomatoes and prawns used in the dishes.
From the primi section of the menu, we tried the ravioli al tuorlo, made with silky egg yolk, spinach, ricotta, pine nuts, lemon and mint. We also tried the cacio e pepe, Tuscan hand-rolled pasta and pecorino. This was a delightfully warming dish that was reminiscent of the gorgeous pasta we tried whilst in Tuscany.
We also ordered the Ndontja pizza with spinach, artichoke and creme fraiche, which arrived piping hot and irresistible. Other signature dishes on the menu include sgombro bruciato, torched mackerel with horseradish and pomegranate, and bistecca di manzo, 35-day aged longhorn porterhouse and whipped potatoes.
Italian desserts are one of my favourites and we decided to try the pesca alla griglia, grilled peach, mascarpone and rum zabaione, as well as their signature crostata al cioccolato, dark chocolate tart, Italian meringue and hazelnuts. This was the ideal way to finish our meal as both dishes were spectacular.
For a limited time, Sycamore is offering the Amore Menu. Leading with a twist on Tuscan regional dishes, the seasonal ingredients continue to take centre stage on this special menu.
Dishes can be enjoyed through sharing, including an Aperitivo of chicken and duck liver parfait with toasted focaccia and fig jam served alongside a Chianti sour; a Charcuterie board with highlights of Coppa and Speck and the showstopping centrepiece, braised beef bone-in rib. Desserts complete the tasty Tuscan picture, coming in the form of cantuccini served with a healthy dose of Vin Santo.
Cocktails at Sycamore Vino Cucina
Sycamore also showcases the best of classic Italian mixology, with an extensive Negroni section offering not one, but 15 varieties of the cocktail. Complementing the Negronis are Bellinis and Grappatinis, as well as signature cocktails including the eponymous The Sycamore (gin, elderflower cordial, grapefruit bitters and prosecco). Guests can also browse the curated wine list championing small-scale producers from northern Italy including the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy and Tuscany.
I really enjoyed my meal at Sycamore Vino Cucina and it made a nice change to eat Italian food which isn’t simply focused on pasta, but offers a vast range of dishes on the menu. I was particularly impressed with the freshness of the ingredients and flavours, which demonstrates the high level of attention they pay to their dishes. I’m already booked to visit again, which is a sign of just how good it is!
✔️ Overall Rating – 9/10
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