Harden's survey result
“For a handy pre-theatre option, light lunch or mid-afternoon snack; meeting someone for a coffee or glass of bubbles; or for an informal, relaxed business rendezvous”, Angela Hartnett’s massively popular “relatively casual” spin-offs provide conveniently located venues, which – at their best – deliver a “lovely, regional Italian menu” and “a well-priced, exclusively Italian wine list” in a “pleasantly vibrant” atmosphere. Ratings dipped this year though, with increasing gripes about food that’s “decent but lacking that extra sparkle”, or decor that’s “slightly cramped and nothing special”. Higher marks though for the “charming and engaging service”.
“Proper decent Italian food without needless bells and whistles – just as you’d expect from Angela Hartnett, plus some surprisingly good (and well-priced) wines” help win a huge fan club for her “more relaxed” Theatreland and St James’s outposts, especially amongst business-lunchers who like their “reliable and low-key” style. The cooking “lacks the magic of the Murano mothership” however, and the “welcoming” staff can be off the case.
“Straightforward cooking, with a twist beyond the staple dishes” and “professional” service – all “without the mothership’s high prices” – win high popularity for Angela Hartnett’s spin-offs in St James’s and Covent Garden. Some reports are sceptical though: “sure the food’s fine, but mainstream, and do we need another star chef’s standard West End option where the biggest excitement is their name?”
“Satisfying on every level” – Angela Hartnett’s “cosmopolitan and delightful” year-old spin off in St James’s has shot to fame thanks to its “disciplined” service and “well-pitched”, “reasonably priced” Italian fare; post-survey, a 140-cover Covent Garden sibling opened in late June 2015.
Café Murano Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Food is lovely and it’s a welcome find in this location. Only gripe would be that it’s hard to find anything on the menu that feels good value."
"Despite moving from the daily menu to something more set, it is still excellent, lovely choices, Angela Hartnett's hand still properly in evidence, reasonably priced. Delicious courgette flower fritti followed by tortelli in sage butter."
Last orders: 10 pm