Review: Como Garden
Review: Como Garden
Where London meets Lombardy. By Helen Down
Hard day’s shopping on High Street Ken? Then head to Como Garden – the three-year-old Lake Como inspired eatery from restauranteur twins Alberto and Arian Zandi.
Encased in ivy-dense trellis, with a fairy light strewn indoor tree taking centre stage, Como does its best to transport you to Lombardy’s eponymous lake. And the restaurant is as bustling as the world-famous destination in peak season, with a lively mix of retail therapised millennials, curious tourists, celebrating families and the occasional model type in an LBD.
Our Italian retreat began with parmesan (round 1) and fontina arancini – a walnut whip of creamy rice with an even creamier centre, crisply coated and drizzled delicately in truffle honey. My self-confessed high-maintenance friend opted for the zucchini fritti which, although moreish, wasn’t as elegant as it could’ve been. She was, however, more than satisfied with her ensuing grilled octopus – meltingly soft but equally buoyant charred tentacles served on roasties like Nona used to make. She gave it, Len Goodman style, an impressive eight out of 10. Meanwhile, never one to turn down a truffle, I gorged on a bundle of tagliolini, rich in parmesan (round 2) and shavings of the sacred fungus. As ardent aubergine fans, we ordered both the melanzane parmigiana *and* the caponata. Neither disappointed, with the latter’s sweet and sour pops of plump capers and sultanas being a particular highlight.
Because it’s a tacit law to have tiramisu when dining Italian, that’s exactly what we did, and to no regrets: an astonishingly light and fluffy cloud of marscapone on a caffeine and booze-soaked sponge bed. The flashback is making me drool. We also indulged in the cheese plate, which featured mammoth hunks of taleggio, gorgonzola, parmesan (round 3) and perfectly salty pecorino. The portions were so generous, they could’ve fed a Roman army and got me wondering if it was acceptable to ask for a doggy bag.
Mirroring the authentic food, Como Garden’s wine list also spans the entire length and breadth of Italy’s boot, with prosecco from the vineyards of Veneto proving especially popular.
If you’re lucky enough to visit on a sun-drenched evening, opt for an alfresco table and make like this high street corner is, in fact, a Lombardy garden, where Nona is slaving away tirelessly on dishes that are more Italian than Lake Como itself.
Price: approx £70/head + service & drink
Address: 37-45 Kensington High Street, W8 5ED
Image: Jack Hardy