Is it me or are London restaurants really pushing the boat out with Italian food? Fiume (Italian for river) is the latest offering from Chef Francesco Mazzei (Sartoria and Radici fame). This newbie, in collaboration with D&D London group, is located in the shiny new development of Battersea Power Station’s Circus West Village.
The spacious interiors are bright and well-lit, with an all-glass façade offering unrestricted views of the River Thames and the iconic behemoth that is the Battersea Power Station.
Lots of clean lines, blond wood furniture, rough stone walls and plush green leather padded chairs and banquettes are complemented by strong lighting from trendy designer lamps. There is a well-organised bar, a bustling open kitchen and a ultra-new (and ginormous) pizza oven.
Service from the beginning is super-fast and super-efficient; perhaps too fast at times as we felt under pressure to speed up our order and make snap decisions from the menu.
But the hasty decisions were all very wise because all the food at Fiume is fantastic!
From the Cicchetti section, the Cod & Chilli Mayo (£6.5) were snaffled as quickly as they arrived. They were bite-sized tasty morsels like posh fish fingers, superbly cooked, coming alive with a silky, fiery mayo.
We were told that the Meatballs (£7.5) are to die for! Well, we are still alive but jokes apart, they were really marvellous. Even I, who doesn’t like meatballs, found myself fighting for a share. The meatballs came slathered in a fresh and delicate tomato sauce and laid over a mattress of creamy mash. But the best bit was the slab of stringy mozzarella that was perched on top, which brought it all together beautifully.
Burrata Radicchio (£8.5) delivered on all fronts in terms of flavour, texture and presentation. Creamy, cold, silken burrata with a deliciously charred radicchio and orange crumbs on top, bringing in bitter, charred and textural notes – all very very good.
The Crab Salad Pizzaiola (£14.5) was a cold starter with fresh crab meat – the sweet and delicate crabby flesh beautifully tasting of the sea. It was artfully served on a light and creamy puddle which we mopped clean with some warm homemade bread.
For my mains, I had the Meat Selection (Lamb Chop, Rump, Quail). This is a dish where the quality of the ingredients and cooking can make or break the dish. Thankfully, this was spot on.
Kris had the Sea Bass Guazzetto, a sort of aromatic fish stew that is light and brothy, with hunks of sea bass and full of banging flavours. It was like a warming cuddle in a bowl, rustic in heart but refined in presentation.
The best dish award went to a side dish again – the Potato Gatto (£4.5) . This is a French-inspired dish (from the French word Gateau) with all things buttery, carby, creamy and cheesy.
We rounded off the meal with some smooth Italian coffee and shared a Sbriciolata (£5). It was a creamy but mellow dessert, with crumbly and flaky pastry; perfect to dig into after a hugely satisfying meal.
Fiume worked out really well for an lazy afternoon Sunday lunch in a swanky new location. From the corner of our eye, we spotted Chef Francesco enjoying a meal with his friends and family. I think for us that sums up Fiume well – hearty Italian comfort food, casual atmosphere yet stylish offering, to be enjoyed with those close to you.
Location: Circus West, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN
More information can be found here.
N.B. All photos and opinions are ours. We review anonymously and pay for our meals.