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Fucina

Restaurants, Italian Marylebone
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Fucina

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A showy Marylebone Italian from the man behind Nobu.

There’s nothing modest about the look of Fucina, a cavernous Italian restaurant between Baker Street and Marylebone High Street. It’s been masterminded by Kurt Zdesar, the man behind the likes of Chotto Matte and Ping Pong. Its imposing wooden doors are huge. Inside, the decor screams ‘look at me!’, with its churchy green stained-glass windows and black-marble-lined toilets that look like old Roman tombs. The biggest design statement is an undulating brick ceiling with massive bulges that nod to the shape of upside-down pizza ovens but could lead to nervy customers wondering when the whole thing will collapse.

The food is quiet in comparison to the visuals. It’s based around shared plates of increasing size, under the menu headings ‘Uno’, ‘Due’ and ‘Tre’. Of the small dishes, a spring cabbage salad looked unremarkable, but its mix of young greens, croutons, crispy pancetta and intense blue cheese sang in the mouth. I also liked how they served a subtle chicken liver pâté smeared around a deep bowl, with a sweet saba sauce sitting in a pool at the bottom.

The ‘Due’ section is all about pasta. The rigatoni with 12-hour short-rib ragu sauce was fine, but less exciting than it sounded on paper. But the crab spaghetti in a spiced tomato bisque was good – light, simple, fresh. The real excitement came when we hit level three, the dishes that had been cooked in their micro-furnace aka ‘forge’ (that’s what ‘fucina’ means, Italophiles). This section is pricey but winning. I tried the ‘acorn-fed black Iberian pork shoulder’. The simple slices of medium-rare, top-quality meat were wonderful, soft and full of taste.

At lunchtime, Fucina was laidback, quiet and peppered with men in expensive suits exuding the laid-back air of the very rich. I hear it can be louder and more sceney at night. Quiet is fine with me though: the food here speaks for itself.

Details

Address: 26 Paddington Street
London
W1U 5QU
Transport: Tube: Baker St
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £165.
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Users say (5)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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tastemaker

An open secret: Fucina is great. 


An all-organic restaurant tucked away in the beautiful and quiet streets near Baker Street, we visited at lunch time for what was a lush, subtle yet delicious meal. You would normally think Italian food has its limitations, but Fucina really goes the extra mile.


The pasta is home-made and soft - I would argue that the rigatoni with beef ragu is excellence in itself, but then what would I say about the rest of the food? The pizza is heavenly, fresh and oozes with cheese. The burrata with beetroot and amaretti crumble is good enough on its own for a main and dessert - the flavours are perfect, and that cheese just melts in your mouth.


The star of the meal, for me, was the stuffed aubergine dish with white pecorino sauce and sourdough breadcrumbs. This is vegetarian heaven, and I'm not a veggie! Four adorable little aubergine baskets, topped with their little hats, smothered in a deliciously creamy sauce that just gives it that extra kick. It's heavenly.


Obviously, not one to visit often if only because of the price - but I would if I could. Ah man. I bet their wine is amazing too!

tastemaker

First time trying a tapas style Italian restaurant. Expect nothing less from the people behind nobu, chotto matte. This decor of this

Place is unique and the food delicious. All the food is for sharing so allows you to try different dishes. Love the burrata which was heavenly and the pasta was stunning. Desserts were to die for so a

Must try. Complete with great service By the staff, highly recommended to try this place out.

Tastemaker

A tapas style take on an Italian is how I would describe it. All plates are small plates and are for sharing which is something I never considered in an Italian but how wonderful! Pasta AND pizza, and a little of whatever else you fancy. A great place to go if you are looking for that London restaurant wow factor but not willing to completely bankrupt yourself. The food is superb, try the sweet potato side which is divine. The décor is fabulous and the restaurant itself is a wonderful space. All the staff are very attentive and the overall atmosphere is really wonderful. The elusive entrance also adds a little something and this is somewhere that I will bring visitors again and again.

Tastemaker

There’s a love affair between the people of London and the food of Italy that I don’t ever see fading. Be it queuing for cacao e pepe at Padella, Saturday-night dating it up at Trullo or a cheap midweek dough ball fix at Pizza Express, there’s something about pasta, pizza and perfectly cooked meats, breads & desserts that we can’t get enough of and now there’s a new, well dressed & very aspirational kid on the block in the form of Fucina. With a focus on modern, organic, seasonal food and a minimal, understated design including a rippling brick ceiling and steel framed, stained glass windows, this place is absolutely huge – I followed Google maps when venturing to the ladies – and has a team behind it who know a thing or two about global cuisine with Chotto Matte & Locatelli under their belts already.

A mid-week pre-Christmas dinner in a big group was always going to be a belt-loosening type of night and this was the perfect place to do so; dish after dish after dish were ordered from a menu that paired the familiar with the unusual, accompanying everything with service that was attentive and helpful. Winners included a Brussel sprout salad with crispy pancetta, gorgonzola & a hazelnut white balsamic dressing that was fresh, crunchy & unexpectedly luxurious – I defy even the heartiest of sprout haters not to be converted – and gossamer slices of silky wild boar lardo with truffled honey that I’d happily order as a pre-starter-starter on a daily basis. Burrata, rabbit ragu, lamb shanks and wood fired sweet potatoes were all decent however straciatella with prawn & black truffle was overwhelmingly creamy but lacking in any real flavour and beef Milanese was somewhat on the tough side.

Pizza was represented elegantly in the form of a crispy base topped with earthy porchetta, the sweetest grilled peaches & a white truffle crema but the absolute star of the evening was a dish every single person at the table fell head over heels, Disney-cartoon-hearts-circling-their-heads-for; simple tortellini parcels filled with spinach & ricotta, sat in a pool of walnut sauce. This was an incredible example of a classic dish done to perfection and I’m not ashamed to say that we ordered a second dish before the first one had even been finished…this is a plate I’ll be returning to indulge in it again but without the six other people so I can be unapologetically greedy in blissful solitude.

Desserts were nice but, with the exception of an splendidly soft bourbon ice-cream, they didn’t blow me away; chocolate praline was indulgently pretty but overly sweet while the pannacotta had a gorgeous silky texture & a dramatic appearance with grappa being sprayed on it at the table however the wow of the visuals didn’t quite translate to the taste which was short of any real oomph.

Fucina is interesting because I tend to think of Italian plates as being big and hearty and full of love, the sort of food that draws you in, gives you a big hug and proceeds to make you one of the family and this place doesn’t do that. This is more where I imagine the beautiful people of Milan would eat – it’s chic, it’s glossy, it’s formal, it’s verging on intimidating. Tables around us were full and varied from couples sharing steaming mounds of spaghetti a la Lady & the Tramp to large groups nodding approvingly over dramatic platters of whole fish but although some of the dishes were excellent, there was a definite sense of style being the over-riding characteristic.

tastemaker

Kurt Zdesar has done it again! His culinary empire, which includes some of London’s top restaurants – Chotto Matte, Nobu and Black Roe to name a few, gained a new addition last month. He has teamed up with Chef Stefano Stecco to bring an Italian dining venture to Marylebone. They travelled around Italy and the UK to source the finest organic ingredients to form the range of dishes for the exquisite Italian menu.


Similarly to his other restaurants there is an authentic yet sophisticated atmosphere inside. The curved red lined ceiling resembles the interior of a pizza oven and the marble top bar is beautiful! Everything is made in-house and the menu includes hand rolled pasta and pizza as well as a selection of meat dishes. 


The sweet potato was delicious and had a smoky taste to it. I really enjoyed the spiced yoghurt that accompanied it. The pizza tasted very fresh and was perfectly thin and crispy just how I like it. I was disappointed that the only seasonal vegetable to be found on it was broccoli. The menu states ‘seasonal market vegetables’ and its surprising broccoli was the only vegetable available this season. However, the pizza was delicious and I have no complaints in terms of flavour (even without cheese!). Simplicity just works sometimes.

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