Words and Photography by Charmaine Chow
Name: Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Cost: £148.50 for two including 12.5% service charge and drinks
About: Situated at the Corinthia Hotel on Northumberland Avenue, just off Trafalgar Square, Massimo is a new speciality fish and seafood restaurant and oyster bar in London.
Designed by David Collins, the restaurant has an air of 1920s grandeur about it with its Corinthian columns, marble topped tables, dark wood panelling and elegant lighting. It is a visually stunning restaurant.
What We Ate: We started the evening at the crudo (raw) bar, where the crudo chef explained the different types of raw seafood on the menu. We had a selection of oysters: Irish Rock (£3), Loch Fyne (£3), Loch Ryan (£4) and Falmouth Bay (£4), of which our favourite was the native Loch Ryan, which was a perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.
The second crudo dish we sampled was Sea Scallop dressed with Roast Lime, Vanilla and Sea Salt (£12). The scallops were very fresh, the lime juice was slightly bitter but balanced by the vanilla and salt. Definitely worth a try!
The crudo chef wanted us to try a new dish that he was hoping to launch. Spicy stripped calamari with chives, fresh chilli, green apples and lemon juice (on the house). This was scrumptious but definitely not for the faint hearted as it was quite fiery.
We then headed to the restaurant, where for starters, we shared a generous portion of calamari fritti (£12). The batter was not quite golden but the calamari were perfectly cooked. They were served with fried courgette strips which were disappointingly soggy. I’ve had better at Byron. We also had bean soup with roast garlic and thyme (£9), which was comforting on a cold night. There was a delicious tang of roasted garlic infused in this rich creamy soup, which was served with some calamarata pasta and more beans - very good.
For the main course, we opted for black tagliatelle with squid, carrot and courgette (£17), and Cotechino sausage with cauliflower puree and lentils (£16). The tagliatelle was definitely the best main option of the evening - the pasta was al dente and the fresh squid brought out the sweetness in the dish, while the Cotechino sausage was underwhelming in my opinion.
|Ooops, where is my sausage??!|
For dessert, we had Panettone bread and butter pudding (£8) served with a Latte di Mandorla sorbet, and Mont Blanc Pavlova (£8) which were both very good.
What We Drank: a Bellini cocktail, a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne (£14), two glasses of white wine (Grillo Luma Cantine Cellaro from Sicily - £8).
Likes: beautiful bar and dining room, black tagliatelle with squid, carrot and courgette
Dislikes: somewhat inconsistent standard of cooking, impersonal (but efficient) service
Verdict: Good but pricey food, for special occasions. Try the pre or post-theatre options (£30 for a three course meal with a glass of prosecco) featuring dishes from the a la carte menu.
Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar
10 Northumberland Avenue
London WC2N 5AE
Tel: 020 – 7998 0555