Number Twelve WC1
REVIEWS, October 12, 2007
Overall Value
out of 5
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
Number Twelve, 12 Upper Woburn Pl, London, WC1H 0HX

Handily located five minutes walk from Euston, a brightly-lit new hotel dining room (with its own entrance), where an ex-Zafferano chef cooks up a satisfying Anglo-Italian menu.

Perhaps it’s the prospect of all those dapper ‘euro-types’ about to be deposited at the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras – Bloomsbury has the feel of somewhere on the up.

The area’s latest arrival is this brightly-lit and understated dining room, attached to the Ambassador Hotel (but with a separate entrance). The room is somewhat Italianate in feel, which makes sense when you know that head chef Santino Busciglio, has a respectable A-Z Group pedigree (and his previous posts include the famous Belgravia Italian, Zafferano).

The food, though, is not quite in the style you might expect, mixing in as it does a lot of English dishes with the Italian ones. So a lunch, for example, might comprise pretty good home-made pasta – so far, so Italian – with a main course of pan-fried sea trout with beetroot and spinach, and a respectable trifle for pudding.

We can’t think of any other contemporary restaurants that yoke the two cuisines together in this way, but the results – if arguably on the bland side – are thoroughly enjoyable. There’s a general feeling of trying hard. Bread (apparently home-made) comes in a variety of weird and wonderful styles, for example, and you even get some home-made sweeties with your espresso. Service is welcoming too.

Not a place to cross town for, then, but a good standby for those seeking a civilised bite on the way to Paris or the North.

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