Jason Atherton’s casual Italian-American joint, in Victoria’s new Nova development.
Hai Cenato calls itself a pizzeria. But actually, it’s EBP (everything but pizza) you should order. It’s food to kick back with. There’s even a joyously calorific twist on an ice-cream sandwich: a still-warm toasted brioche bun with silky, decadent salted caramel gelato inside.
The best two dishes showed off the kitchen’s pedigree. Hai Cenato is part of Jason Atherton’s empire, he of Social Eating House, Sosharu and so on. A delicate dish of seabass crudo (as in raw) came with shimmering morsels of blood orange, sprigs of dill and celery, cut mandolin-thin and on the diagonal. Someone’s got skills. Further proof: a tumble of freshly cooked corzetti (flat, round, embossed pasta discs) with a beautifully intense bolognese. On top: deep-fried sage leaves and fresh grated sheep’s cheese. Equally brimming with flavour – though the pasta could have had more bite – was a bowl of casarecce (short, freeform ‘twists’) with tiny, juicy clams; buttery, garlicky breadcrumbs; and slivers of bitter etrog (a lemon of sorts).
But, oh dear, the pizza. I’m like Meghan Trainor: all about the base. It should either be thin and crispy, its sole purpose to act as a vehicle for an avalanche of toppings; or deep, doughy and delicious, so moreish that you could – and should – eat it naked. Here, the bases were the worst of both worlds: thick but tasteless, the type where you leave all your crusts on the side. Toppings were fine, but not enough to save the show.
Happily, the vibe is laidback. In fact, of all the restaurants in Victoria’s spanking new Nova development, this has so far come the closest, with its rap-and-funk soundtrack and low lighting, to help diners forget the steel-and-glass surroundings. So if you’re with friends in SW1 and hankering for Italian, say Hai Cenato (‘have you eaten?’) and give it a whirl.
|Venue name:||Hai Cenato||Contact:|
The Nova Building
77 Buckingham Palace Rd
|Price:||. Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100.|
|Do you own this business?|
You may be interested in:
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Great “posh pizza”. Delicious comfort food and ideal for sharing too. Everything we ordered was tasty - particularly the bolognese! It's quite dark and very noisy at lunchtime and would not necessarily recommend it for a business lunch much more a fun place to go with mates.
I didn't like it. I came with friends for lunch, inclined to look favourably upon the place but found the service spotty and forgetful, the food- a mixed bag, and worst of all, my double espresso came in tepid. When I asked the waitress to return it and see if they can try and brew a properly hot one please, she came back with the same one slightly re-heated.
One of the worst restaurant experiences ever! We want to this restaurant with high expectations and knowing that Jason Atherton stood for exceptional food! What a false sense of security. The menu is a cocktail of mismatched ingredients and overpriced dishes, but that aside we were served undercooked Chicken, one of the worst steaks (sent back) and the vegetarian options were well below par. After complaining they did not even take the chicken off the bill! The highlight of the restaurant was the music they played and at nearly £100 a head a total disgrace. Please avoid!
I had the most incredible prawn starter fooled by prosciutto and fennel sausage pizza last night, great value too. Would highly recommend. Delicious cocktails in the Upstairs bar too.