Ponti’s Italian Kitchen – A 50th Birthday Celebration

Celebrating Traditional Food from Emilia Romagna at Ponti’s Italian Kitchen:

pontis exterior

My invitation to Ponti’s was to celebrate fifty years of the restaurant in London.  Some achievement in our Capital where the turnover of restaurants must be one of the fastest in the world.  In fact it’s a place that’s been around for so long I can’t remember the last time I ate in a Ponti’s.  So, I went along to the Princes Street Branch (there are two Ponti’s Kitchens and a few other Ponti’s traditional restaurants together with some coffee shops) for a bit of a party and a chance to have a go at Pizza School!  Ponti’s has managed to build up a great list of suppliers from Emilia Romagna and for their fiftieth anniversary have put together a menu that showcases the best of the ingredients they use

Pontis interior

Of course we started with Prosecco, but the food very soon began to arrive.  Large juicy green queen olives from Emilia Romagna, with some flat breads and black olive tapenade

Olives on ice and Tapanade Pontis

And then the most beautiful mozzerella salad with roasted butternut squash, wilted greens and crispy parmesan.

Pontis Mozzerella

Then a lovely scallop and parma ham dish – capesante con parma – scallops with warm focaccia.  I love scallops and these were really very good.  Wrapping them in parma ham is a little extravagant, though perfect suited to a birthday celebration!

Pontis - Scallops wrapped in Parma Ham

Now, we were all eating and drinking.  And forgetting that at some point we were supposed to be making pizza (and eating it!).  I kept looking over at the long counter being laid out ready for Pizza Scuola.  But, it’s very hard when beautiful dishes keep appearing, not to keep eating!

Pontis meat and cheese

And you know there are things that are just very moreish.  I loved the fagottini di formaggio  made with a smoked scamorza cheese wrapped in Parma ham with sage butter and warm focaccia.

Pontis cheese wrapped in parma ham

I think the Pollo Rosmarino was probably my least favourite dish – after all the rather  wonderful small plates it just seemed a little too close to something I might make at home myself.

Pontis Chicken

Though I couldn’t pretend that I can make a chargrilled chicken marinated in rosemary, with chargrilled vegetables, wilted spinach & pesto that looks quite as beautiful as the one in my photo.

The fish stew, spezzatino di pesce, was very good although I think I marginally prefer the Livorno version which has a richer sauce.

Pontis fish

By the time we got to the Ravioli we were all completely full.  Although somehow I seem to remember trying a little…

Pontis ravioli

At this point we took a break to make pizza.

It was a remarkably smooth affair, given the amount of wine we’d all been drinking and the pizzas took about 5 minutes to cook.  But none of us could face even taking a bite!  So the restaurant very kindly packed them up for us to take home.

Pontis pizza to go

My pizza had large quantities of mozzarella and mortadella, some salame felino and some coppa ham, together with tomato puree, tomatoes, mushrooms and basil.  Oh and quite a lot of chilli!  It tasted very good the next day for supper!

Now, if you’d like to try Pizza Scuola, it’s just £18 per person, which includes a glass of prosecco and an Italian ice-cream for dessert.  Or you could just go along and order from the special fiftieth anniversary menu.  With starters from under £3.00 and main courses from around £9.00 you can feast in style without breaking the bank.  Would I go back?  Well yes – it’s excellent value for money and very well located just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus.  And while it’s not Michelin Star dining, the food is really well cooked, well sourced and served with a smile.


Ponti's Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon
5-7 John Princes Street,
Oxford Circus,
London W1G 0JN
Tel: 020 3230 3018
Fax: 020 3230 3019

4 / 5 stars     
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  1. says

    THIS IS HEAVEN!!! I love Italian food and all the different things (and your great photography !! How do you take your photos btw?) that were being served. The prosciutto looks divine. love ravioli. what’s not to love here?

    Now I am getting hungry. this is sad.. bec I ate dinner already

  2. Pamela Morse says

    It is obvious that they have sourced some mighty fine products from Italy. I love small tasting plates, and these are beautifully presented. The pizza is pretty too.

  3. says

    What a great idea to have a pizza school in a restaurant! I know I would definitely try it out – love Italian food. You definitely get to try all the great restaurants in town.

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