Hai Cenato, meaning ‘have you had dinner?’ in Italian, is the latest opening from chef turned fashion icon Jason Atherton (Sosharu, Social Wine & Tapas and City Social). It’s in a new development in Victoria called Nova which has got restaurants aplenty all housed in glass fronted new-builds right by the station.
We have an interesting arrival; a huge door which we can’t see into is opened by a bouncer. A tall chap who seems to be at all the Atherton openings stands behind the desk but never once looks up to acknowledge us. When we made our booking we requested to sit at the counter, which overlooks the kitchen, but we’re taken to a tightly packed table by the window.
The menu is varied but with a focus on pizzas. We start by sharing a large portion of corzetti spaghetti (£15) which comes topped with a gorgeous aged beef bolognese. The shavings of Berkswell cheese topped it off like a good’en.
The pizzas take just 90 seconds to cook and the result is a light and fluffy crust – as good as any I’ve had in London. Taleggio, chanterelles and caramelised onion (£9) are a flavour combo that work together harmoniously. Really good pizza.
From the grill section, a garlic and anchovy studded lamb rump (£25) is a lovely chunk of meat but you’ll definitely need a side. The braised cavolo nero (£4) is a simple one but with plenty of chilli and garlic running through it the flavour is immense.
We did like Hai Cenato but I think the real fun to be had is sitting at the counter and ordering a pizza – that way is pretty good value too. With the complete overhaul that Victoria is getting, I’m sure Hai Cenato will do just fine.
Would we go back? For pizza, yes.