© Stephen Barber
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Jul 12 2012
If a restaurant is named after the cured back fat of a pig, you can expect that charcuterie is among its specialities – and so it is here. But lardo itself isn’t on the menu at Lardo, except as a pizza topping, so our charming, clued-up waiter bought a plate specially. It was excellent, as was the paper-thin fennel pollen salame. Other small plates on the short menu are divided into ‘cold’ (simple but satisfying puréed cannellini beans with black olives), ‘warm’ (an unctuous bowl of braised chicory and melted fonduta cheese topped with speck) and ‘hearty’ (Venetian lamb’s kidneys). There’s also a couple of own-made pasta dishes and a handful of pizzas with novel, tasty toppings such as goat’s curd, anchovy and sprouting broccoli. You can watch the pizzas being fired if you choose to sit on the stools around the open kitchen; otherwise there are closely packed but not cramped tables. Industrial-style windows, plenty of wood, and lighting that’s so low most people need to use the tealights to read the menu, make for a stylishly casual setting. Lardo is part of the Arthaus complex, so it’s a trek across a blinding white foyer to find the shared toilets. Drinks run from cocktails to builders’ tea plus a brief, mainly Italian wine list. Hackneyites love this place – rightly so – and cram in from breakfast to late, so it’s wise to book.
Lardo 197 Richmond Road
- Venue phone:
020 8985 2683
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served 11am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 1-10.30pm Sat; 1-9.30pm Sun. Brunch served 11am-1pm Sat, Sun
Hackney Central or London Fields rail
Main courses £7.50-£16
- 197 Richmond Road
- 020 8985 2683
- 197 Richmond Road
Average User Rating
3 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:7
- 1 star:8
finally went last week and though hoping to love it i was pretty underwhelmed. to balance i will say our waitress was very friendly and helpful but we found the food to be distinctly average for the price - i would rate say Polpo for its cured meats and small plates far far higher. we found the pizza quite disappointing; the base was too brittle and the sauce too acidic. regarding the wine, fair enough we plumped for the cheap house red but cheap tasting is an understatement, it had an unpleasantly meth-y alcohol rasp and despite our collectively unsophisticated palate for wine we left most if it. the room has a nice buzz even on a tuesday evening; but i wouldnt go back in a hurry
Small portions, poor chefs, food sent out cold, pizzas burnt. Shame as I'd heard good things. Definitely won't return. AVOID
My friend and I had a lovely lunch yesterday! The waiters were very attentive and super friendly and not disruptive when in the middle of a conversation, they rather waited and picked the right times to come to the table to ask for orders. The food itself...what can I say...fresh, yummy and colorful! The menu is simple and I like the fact that there is not too much choice, gives it clean lines. The wine was beautifully picked by the waitress and the cocktails refreshing for a hot summer day. The outside are, although right by the street, is very nice and again shows the restaurants' vibe. you can see how food is prepared in the kitchen. I have been to Lardo before for dinner, which has been amazing too, but I would definitely choose to come again for lunch!
The staff are so inconsistent. I have had two meals here, the first one was excellent and had all the ingredients for becoming one of our regular places. The second was with my parents from out of town. The waitress took one look at us and decided we were not suited for the place and was rather rude and offhand from then on. It was if she wanted us to leave immediately and went on the offensive to persuade us to do so. The quality of service really spoilt the meal and we could not really think of the food due to the rather mean spirited staff, I for one will not return and I live on Horton Road around the corner and would have relished making this my regular.
Our experience was: impeccable service, super-friendly and cute front of house staff; and kitchen taking pride in what was being sent out (rightly so). Food was delicious. Agree with SamNad: loved it, would recommend it and will go back.
Good experience - restaurant busy but attentive service; excellent starter of frogs legs; superb pizzas and good value. If I lived locally would most definitely visit regularly. [There is a problem with keeping the high ceiling venue warm and free of draughts - so don't sit near the doors - in these winter days, but that is not something fatal to a visit!!].
Looks like somone has it in for Lardo, and can't believe I ate in the same restaurant. I was in for dinner last Saturday and although it was busy we were greeted by an especially attentive waitress. She talked us through the menu and recommended us some fantastic dishes and was friendly and approachable... we weren't too pleased to be sat up on high stools over looking 2 start with.. but by the end of the meal we had forgotten! Great food and great service!
I am answering Eliza the owner. I was at Lardo last Saturday between 7.30 and 10pm I did not expect excellent service since I believe that lardo is a place for simple food trattoria style where service is secondary What was applaling was the quality of the food. Ok the antipasti were good but coldcut meat is hard to get wrong. I had frog legs as a primo tasted like fishfingers The real disappointment was the main course i think it was paccheri in ink and fish based sauce. It was basically uneatable..i had one bite and snt it back..i was offered a substitute but at that point i was so turned off that I just wanted to get out of there. But who knows...maybe the pizza is good
It's 4th time to go there. Their service is worse and worse and the time to wait for pizza is longer and longer. We reserved to go there at 18:45 and we left from there at 21:15 although we ordered neither a lot of foods nor drinks. Just needed to wait for everything (ordering and food). Although we reserved, we had to sit the table by the door (many people use this door to go to the toilet and next room? is really cold and door seemed be a bit hard to close) so my husband needed to close the door almost every time they passed the door. It might be a small thing but actually really annoying. We ordered the dessert (it was difficult to understand what they are because of Italian with no description) but mu husbands came quite late after I finished my one... I went to there for our small anniversary but to choose Lardo was wrong. I felt complain for almost everything (our seat, waiting time, service...). I chose there as I liked their pizza and dessert (although they didn't have the one I wanted order..) and I booked as I knew Lardo was popular restaurant and hard to sit a nice seat without booking) so anyway, I was very disappointed this time.....
Great to go there but rude on the phone, hard to get through to reserve as they also never seem to answer it! Nice atmosphere though.
Contrary to some of the reviews here I have enjoyed eating at Lardo on a number of occasions. The changing menu is a delight. I'll be back...
A constantly changing menu filled to the brim with lots of weird and wonderful choices that just keep me coming back for me. I've had the pleasure of being surprised on my birthday here, where a special order was prepared just for me. Our repeated returns have always been well received and the dishes have been gorgeous every time without fail. A splendid venue just around the corner to us!
I found Lardo to be a real joy. It's just so beautifully friendly and stylish; so relaxed. The food was great (Sunday lunchtime), and they even paid special attention to my daughter who can't eat a couple of things. They were happy to go a bit off-piste with the menu and cater for her, which is rare, and they did it brilliantly. It's like a little world away from the hustle and bustle. I'm looking forward to going back for a proper night out.
An altogether underwhelming experience for our party of four looking for a relaxing Sunday lunch. Tables are tightly packed and the place had a good warm buzz to it, so we had high hopes. But the food and service were both lacklustre. Pizzas were bland and lacked toppings. I'm happy to pay for quality ingredients too, but more than £5 for a tiny ball of burrata took some shine off the milky delight. My friend's cacciatore was tasty but hard to eat in an impossibly small bowl. The sharing menu didn't really give her any ideal pairings for the meat either, so she settled for a beetroot salad. Further disappointment came when our chosen sweet was unavailable due to a 'cream malfunction'. Given there were only two to choose from in any case, we ended up settling for coffee and mused at why some more cream could not be whipped for the promised pistachio cannoli. We wanted to like this Hackney local but won't be back. When we next crave pizza we'll be heading back to Crate - the menu might not be as extensive but the pizzas are much tastier and the staff much friendlier.
The best pizza i've had for some time, great service and great atmosphere. Brown shrimp a little disappointing but everything else was bang on. Great addition to Hackney.
Beautiful setting, good ingredients, but left hungry and frustrated by bad service and small, expensive portions. Was not given a menu until we asked for one. Service was haphazard and left you feeling as if you were ruining their night by ordering food. Nice place, good food, BUT, very expensive, small portions, and worst of all, badly trained waiting staff.......would not recommend.
Went there last night. All their ingredients are high quality and their flavours are great. However it is overpriced: all their dishes are too small to even share, their scallop carpaccio was basically one thinly sliced scallop for 7 quid (although very tasty). The mussel pizza arrived swimming in lots of liquid, it was like a soup! But all this could have been forgiven if the service had been good, it was absolutely terrible. Our waitress didn't smile once. When asked whether the mussel pizza came with tomato and cheese she didn't know, she asked the chef and came back to say it was just with cheese. In fact, as I suspected, it arrived with no cheese. When you are paying these sort of prices I think the service needs to be friendly and attentive, also really need to try and explain your menu to your guests
Spent a very pleasant couple of hours over brunch at the weekend. I didn't find it too expensive - there's certainly a lot of love that goes into the food, and you can tell. The best eggy bread via Italia that I can remember ever tasting, and my friend told me she enjoyed her ham and egg pizza (a breakfast pizza, that's another first for me!). I wouldn't want pizzas any bigger or I'd burst... I'll be back for sure.
A rather frustrating experience. A difficult menu to digest - with plates so small and prices which are too high. A good selection of wines - but served in a glass so small. The food quality was good but I wont go back nor recommend to anyone else. I left feeling hungry rather disappointed and certainly not satisfied.
Small and slightly complicated menu. Portions are tiny prices are not. Pizza was small for the price and the little flavour it has was quite greasy. Will not bother to go back.
Been a couple of times and really like it. Glad we have missed the rude waitress - our was charming. Great pizza and lovely charcuterie. Horrible little thick wine glasses are style over substance.
The pizzas are great I must say, but £4.50 for a bottle of beer/ tiny tumblers for the wine, both really make you feel like you have been ripped off. Its a real shame as the decor is fantastic and the service is good too, but ripping people off with beer and wine is really silly- the mark up is so obvious its ridiculous.
We decided to try out Lardo and give it a go but quite frankly its not really all that! The pizzas were overpriced and nothing special. In fact the price of the pizza advertised on the menu doesn't include the VAT so you get a surprise extra portion on top of your bill at the end of the night. That's if your bill arrives, we waited 15 minutes for our bill to arrive as its was being hand written...!? When it eventually arrived it was wrong, they had accidentally added on an extra bottle of red wine. Fortunately I was dining with out with people that can do maths so we soon spotted this error, when we showed signs of looking baffled the waiter approached us to point out 'we weren't sure if you had drunk 2 or 3 bottles so we decided to make if 3' and he hurried off to correct the bill. He was very polite about this if slightly embarrassed. Beware of the spicy sausage pizza as it really is spicy, it nearly sent my friend into labour! It blows your head off and you end up looking similar to Leslie Ash at the end of the night. Saying all that the restaurant is cosy and warm with the pizza oven churning out plenty of heat, the lighting is dim so make sure you wear your reading glasses and bring a calculator along to tally up at the end of the night.
I went for a friend's birthday, 6 of us including 3 Italians who know their stuff and we really really enjoyed the food. The burrata was the best! everything was tasty and I can't wait to go again. Also wished their desert menu was a bit more extensive and the service was a bit grumpy few times but the food made up for it.
My friends and I had a fantastic dinner in Lardo. All meals and drinks were so delicious. My favorite was starter “veal meat with tuna mayonnaise”. We absolutely loved the restaurant and will definitely come back again. Thank you for a great evening!
Food is good but presentation is poor and service is awful. I was hoping for much more from this place.
We also had a really bad experience of being put at the bar. However it wasn't the bar but the alley way which all the staff used to get to the kitchen. My friend was constantly pushed and naturally got very frustrated. When we complained, they basically gave us some money back and said it was the nature of sitting at the bar. What we wanted was a sincere apology for ruining our night. They also got all our order wrong and treated us like it was our fault. Food was ok but service really let this place down. Shame as it is actually our local.
The food is delicious and it is a gorgeous restaurant. But it does not represent good value for money- which is a shame because it could be really good. Our lunch cost £38.50 which got us a tiny bottle of diet coke, a tiny lemonade (mostly ice), two little tumblers of wine, one side salad and two pizzas. The pizzas are freshly made and so delicious, but on the courgette flower, goats curd and anchovy one we had only one halved anchovy on the whole pizza. I'd love to leave a glowing review, because I think this place could be worthy of it, but they need to give better value. The whole experience felt overpriced, and although the pizzas are on the smaller side of decent, the toppings are remarkably meagre.
really delighted to see this place in hackney. we have surprisingly few good local restaurants that are not vietnamese or turkish (barring of course the excellent railroad). had the same experience of a surly waitress - which eventually became quite comical, and the eggs i had for breakfast didn't have enough cheese in them and as a result tasted a little bit bland. this was all made up for by the burratta which was amazing, and the promise that this could become a really exciting place to eat.
I went a few weeks ago. We were 7 people - the food is amazing. Service was sublime. The food here is legendary - incredible tastes that transport you to a million places. Lucky people of Hackney.