KATE WEIR rediscovers the joys of fine Italian feasting with Como Garden's delivery service…
If you’re a fan of the zesty Latin American fare in Kensington’s Zuaya (indeed, we’ve covered it previously and could seriously do with one of their mezcal- and pisco-loaded cocktails right now) then it might excite you to know that Alberto and Arian Zandi, the Spanish twin brothers behind the venture, launched an Italian restaurant just next door late last year. Como Garden, as you can tell from the name, is inspired by Lombardy’s great lake and botanical beauty. The dining room resembles an extremely elegant planter, with trailing ivy clinging to the walls and even a fully grown tree buffered by cosy cream banquettes, plus a few Renaissance-inspired statuettes for a true holiday feel.
There’s just one teeny problem – you can’t see any of it – at least until Boris lowers the chequered flag on lockdown restrictions. But Como’s Italian pasta chef and dedicated team are soldiering through, turning to Deliveroo to get punters excited about their tapas-style plates and hearty mains, made using ingredients nonna would approve of from the motherland. And so, in a somewhat more modest dining room, we awaited a delivery that would, at least in spirit, whisk us away to the Med.
The restaurant recommended three dishes each, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule – with delights such as raviolo filled with gorgonzola and pear, and truffle and pecorino, and crowd-pleasing cacio e pepe and rich beef ragu, you may want to challenge your appetite. We shared the calamari with lemon aioli and steak tartare with sweet mustard – the former is a little diminished by the travel time and would be crisper dining in, but it was still succulent squid, the latter, while not pretty, had a generous helping of meat punched up by the sauce.
For seconds, the lasagna had a good ratio of meat, cheese and sauce, and was as comforting as a bear hug from mamma, while gnocchi slathered in gorgonzola with sweetened walnuts was a decadent rustic dish with a warming autumnal feel. To follow, a seductively unctuous osso buco, where the veal easily tore from the bone, and a tender tentacle of grilled octopus. But, there was more still, the big finale was the Como Ferrero Roché dessert: essentially a haute take on its namesake.
We’re still longing for the buzzy ambience of a restaurant in full flow once again, and even moreso a getaway to the Italian lakes, but at least with such top Italian food just a few clicks away, you can still satisfy some desires. Order via Deliveroo.