como garden

Review: Como Garden

Review: Como Garden

We try Italian tapas in a fab restaurant just off Kensington High Street…

Como Garden, a brainchild of Spaniards Alberto and Arian Zandi (of Zuaya fame), combines the finest tastes from across Italy with the concept of sharing small-to-medium portions of food, Tapas style.  

When we arrive, the restaurant is far from busy – a lovely oasis of peace on the ever-buzzing Kensington High Street. The interior can’t possibly get any closer to resembling an actual Lombardian garden than it does, drowning in foliage, with an impressively large olive tree looming over the diners and armless statues ala Italian renaissance peeking out amongst the green thicket. Guests can also be sat outside but strange as it is, dining inside feels more al fresco than well, actually dining al fresco.  

Cocktails being the perfect way to start off lunch (or any other meal for that matter), I opted for Lago Amaranto, apparently a Como signature: fresh and sweet blend of gin, limoncello, blackberries, egg white and sugar. The menu isn’t overly sophisticated and that’s a compliment: clearly, Como Garden focuses on strong, traditional flavours and those tend to work best when kept simple. Dishes include the likes of tortelloni, ravioli and lasagna, steak, lamb chops and seafood, and a selection of refreshing salads.  

We start with soup served as an appetizer (heavenly) and a bowl of flavourful marinated olives. Beef carpaccio literally melts in our mouths, served with a dash of pesto to complement but not overwhelm the meat.  

Next come truffle and ricotta tortelloni alla carbonara accompanied by Sicilian orange salad. Both were fab. Both were perfectly done. Both will make you scream for more.  

Don’t give in to the temptation though, for the meats are still to come. We went for the grilled sirloin – perfectly crispy, perfectly salty and perfectly well done, utterly moreish. The way to my heart was however via the tentacles of a grilled octopus with gremolata and roasted potatoes. I am a massive seafood aficionado and it was, hands down, one of the best octopi I’ve had in life. Tender, wonderfully velvety and overall scrumptious. 

There is an unwritten law (I’m sure of it) that one must try a tiramisu when dining in an Italian restaurant and so tiramisu we shared. It was delish, pillowy and fluffy, not too dry but not soaking wet either. Pitch-perfect.  

 If you liked Zuaya, you will most probably enjoy its Italian-inspired sister. If you didn’t like Zuaya, you will also most probably enjoy its Italian-inspired sister. It just really is brilliant in the simplicity of the menu and ingenuity of the décor.