Love in Hammersmith – L’Amorosa Restaurant
People often ask me if I can recommend the perfect local restaurant. I think I’ve found it…Chef Patron Andy Needham’s Italian restaurant L’Amorosa opened its doors in Hammersmith in 2014. Andy has serious form in the kitchen winning his first Michelin star at Zafferano where he headed the kitchen for 12 years. At L’Amorosa they are rightly excited to have just retained their Michelin Bib Gourmand (given for good value and quality) and they are the only place in Hammersmith and Fulham to have one. So it’s a good time for me to have been invited to go and review. The restaurant is in that stretch of King St that features a wide variety of Asian restaurants like Potli with L’Amorosa being the welcome odd-man out. The dining room is elegantly put together with low lighting, wooden tables, white walls and contemporary art on the walls. It’s a grown-up crowd looking to get their gastronomic kicks without having to remortgage the house – hence the Michelin award – as mains are around the £20 mark. The menu reads very well with plenty of dishes that sound really appealing at the beginning of winter. We start with a plate of warm cuttlefish, purple potato, Castelfranco and Taggiasche olives. The delicate flavour of the cuttlefish is brought out by the saltiness of the olives in a subtle dish of textural contrasts that I love. Chestnut tagliatelle with forest mushrooms and porcini butter sauce is a fungal fantasy! The rich, luscious sauce is slathered onto the pasta which is just the right side of al dente. There are occasional dishes that make me want to weep with unbridled pleasure and this is one of them. We are drinking a beautiful bottle of Cesanese del Piglio, Principe Pallavicine, Lazio 2016, made from the Cesanese grape. which was recommended by the sommelier. With cherry on the nose and a hint of spice it’s beautifully balanced and intense enough to stand up to the flavours of the food. Moist, tender, roast corn-fed chicken came with a light, creamy potato purée, juicy leeks, crisp, salty pancetta and rosemary. This isn’t food that screams from the rooftops trying to impress – it nourishes the soul and stomach in an understated and pleasurable way. This year’s perfect winter dish is L’Amorosa’s roast cod with chickpeas, autumn roots, crispy kale and salsa verde. A large slab of perfectly cooked cod sits on a bed of crunchy chickpeas with a vegetal salsa verde and the kale adding a burst of chlorophyll. A Torta di Mele brought together a warm Braeburn apple and the delicate almond flavour of a frangipane tart with vanilla ice-cream. Another seemingly simple dish beautifully executed and a joy to eat. A thick and creamy but still wobbly pannacotta studded with vanilla seeds is served with persimmon, an intense mango sorbet and the sweet crunch of honeycomb. I spent my earliest years in Hammersmith and the height of my gastronomic excitement was the thought of going to the ambitiously named Ritz Café (where I was never taken) or the Bondian and impossible glamorous 007 restaurant (where I was also never taken). So it’s a joy to be really excited about a restaurant in Hammersmith that I can go to. L’Amorosa is a place for couples and small groups of friends to wallow in the effortlessly civilised atmosphere and great food that is served. Ingredients are not super deluxe but the pricing reflects this and many of the customers were clearly returning and were treated like old friends by the chef. If you are in West London you should go.
278 King Street,
London, W6 0SP
Tel: 020 8563 0300