Just south of Richmond Bridge, this traditional Italian local was half full with a mix of families and dowdyish couples on our Sunday lunchtime visit. It isn’t a particularly romantic spot – our booth table was too wide for intimate banter, the dark decor a little gloomy – but the generous, mostly reliable food makes up for it. Our only disappointment from a good-value £25 set lunch was a fennel, ricotta and chilli risotto – the mushy texture and bland flavour reminded us of baby food. Things picked up with the main courses. Pork rolled in leeks and thyme was the perfect Sunday lunch dish with a rich sauce and smooth potato purée. Tiger prawn fettuccine au gratin came piping hot with lashings of cream, parmesan and lemon, plus the pleasing tang of radicchio. For dessert, panna cotta served in a coupe, was a nutty, mocha-infused affair worth every caloria. A peachy garganega from the compelling Italian wine list (lots of bottles under £30) was delightful. Service was professional, if a little cool. A Cena’s owners, Tim and Camilla Healy, are spreading their net and are now co-owners of Orso and Joe Allen in Covent Garden.
A Cena is also available for private hire for any special occasions - weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, anything. We will chat with you extensively about your requirements and tailor the menu and experience to suit you. Please call Justine on 020 8288 0108 to discuss further.
With the rugby World Cup upon us this year, Richmond and Twickenham will be absolutely buzzing. Our 'rugby lunches' are extremely popular at £50 per head for three courses - bookings are absolutely essential. We can certainly take large table bookings, too. If you would like any further information about our pre-match dining please get in touch, and we would advise speedy action to secure a great restaurant before the game.
If you have ever wondered, A Cena means 'at dinner' and is pronounced 'ah chenna'.