Italian food is one of my favourite cuisines and I’m always keen to try great Italian restaurants in London. Enter Fucina! A modern Italian restaurant in Marylebone, the perfect location for lunch one day with Laura with whom I enjoyed an Italian adventure with in Rome only a month before. And as soon as I walked in, I bumped into the inimitable Chef Jordan Sclare. I met first met Jordan around five years ago when I first started my blog. He was (and still is) Executive Chef at Peruvian restaurant and top London hot spot, Chotte Matte. Though my blog was new, Jordan gave me lots of support inviting me to events and to try his latest menu and ventures. Fast forward to now and Jordan has added poke restaurant Black Roe and Fucina to his restaurant portfolio and all three are thriving in their various central London locations.
The restaurant is all decked out for Christmas and Laura and I took our seats and ordered my favourite Italian cocktail, a fresh peach bellini. The space itself is beautifully designed with a stylish marble bar and curved brick ceiling to resemble the inside of a pizza oven.
Our starters were a little unusual, tuna tartare with the addition of nuts and apples wasn’t something I’d had before but was very tasty. The yellowtail and sea bass carpaccio with basil oil, lemon and shiso also contained stracciatella – now I’ve never had fish carpaccio with cheese in it like this but it actually really worked. I have a friend who firmly believes the addition of cheese to basically anything makes it better! Head Chef here is Stefano Stecca, previously of Zafferano, who created the menu drawing inspiration from his childhood in Italy.
Pappardelle della nonna with pressed tomatoes, fresh basil and smoked mozzarella was our favourite dish of the day and the comforting taste and quality of the pasta reminded Laura and I of some of the fantastic dishes we’d tried on our recent trip to Rome.
The name Fucina translates as forge or fire pit which describes the cooking method of the main courses.
My whole sea bass was cooked very simply with sea salt, olive oil and lemon but it was total perfection for me with melt-in-the-mouth flesh and perfectly crispy skin.
Laura really enjoyed her smoked lamb best end with fennel purée, summer vegetable and blackberry sauce.
Less successful however were the side dishes: the truffle parmesan fries and sauteed brussel sprout with guanciale, honey, sage were so salty that we had to send them back. When they were remade they were much better and if, like me, you’re unsure about having honey on your brussels it was actually only a hint and worked quite nicely. Baby spinach salad with romano peppers, parmesan and citrus dressing was crispy and zesty and paired well with my fish.
A few misses but mostly hits plus we loved the design of the restaurant. On a weekday lunch time most people seemed to be there for business lunches but I can imagine the atmosphere livens up in the evenings especially given the location.
26 Paddington Street,
0207 058 4444
I was invited to review.