In a beautiful riverside location, new restaurant Fiume knocks out proper southern Italian nosh, with a menu designed by Francesco Mazzei (ex-L’Anima, also overseeing Sartoria and Radici). Warmly lit, on the night of my visit the cavernous room was packed with well-heeled clientele – after all, two-bed flats go for £1.5m in this part of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment. Jackets and open-collared shirts are de rigueur.
Much of the food here was exceptional. Delicious cod croquette snacks broke and oozed at the merest touch. I can’t stop thinking about the crab, which had been lightly laced with mint and topped with a bacon-flavoured crumb. Best of all was the stringy, addictive zucchini fritti.
But let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Because you can be a beautiful riverside Italian restaurant, and you can serve perfect food presented by an impeccable waiting team – but if your kitchen’s timing is out you’re stuffed. Our mains took 40 minutes to arrive at the table, and the sides took 55 – whatever you eat at the end of it, that kind of wait ruins your evening.
Comps and apologies were offered, but come on Fiume, you can do better.