If it’s cocktail perfection you’re after, you’ll struggle to find better than Bar Termini. This compact bar in Soho’s Old Compton Street is the brainchild of Tony Conigliaro who also owns 69 Colebrooke Row and Untitled in Dalston.
This second Bar Termini, Termini Centrale, lacks the beauty of the original. It’s off a side street by Selfridge’s and inside it’s not much to look at. There’s harsh lighting, little decoration and enough chairs to feel like you’re in a chair warehouse.
What’s exciting about this one is the food – they’ve started serving pasta under the name ‘Fat Tony’s’ and it’s bloody delicious.
We start with burrata (£8.50) which is kept simple – just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Exactly how it should be and it’s perfection. A plate of octopus (£8.50), all spicy from n’duja, is made fresh from a squeeze of lemon. It’s a light and delicate little number.
All this is perfect with their Negroni Classico (£7) which is served so full to the brim in a tiny glass you’ll need the steadiest of hands not to spill any of it. It really is very good.
Bucatini cacio e pepe (£8) sees a rich, peppery cheese sauce clinging to hollow tubes of spaghetti. It could give Padella’s famed cacio e pepe a run for its money. And you don’t have to queue all night for this one.
Pappardelle (£10), that’s thick ribbons of pasta, comes topped with beef shin ragu. Beef shin lends itself particularly well to this sort of thing as once slow cooked the meat has bags of flavour and the sauce is naturally thickened from all the fat.
For pud we share the chocolate torta (£5.50). As with the other dishes, this is simple cooking done right. The chocolate is soft and squidgy topped with crumbled pistachios for texture and whipped cream for added indulgence. Lovely stuff.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant