On Saturday my husband and I enjoyed lunch at Latium, an Italian restaurant in London’s Mayfair. If you’re regular readers, you’ll know that we often have Italian food for lunch on Saturdays because my husband is Italian and well, Italian food is pretty delicious.
On its website, Latium describes itself as ‘fine dining Italian’, which I must admit put me off somewhat. Not because I don’t enjoy fine dining restaurants but rather because often ‘fine dining’ and ‘pretentious’ can sometimes be synonymous. I’m pleased to say that there was nothing pretentious at all about Latium. It’s true that it feels fine dining in terms of service and presentation, however the decor is bright and elegant but not formal. Also, unlike lots of fine dining restaurants the portions were decent sizes.
Latium is named after the Italian region Lazio, whose principle city is Rome, and although there is particular emphasis on this region’s food the menu does cover most regions. Chef Stefano Motta is committed to sourcing ingredients from small, artisan producers from around Italy as well as sourcing fresh, seasonal British produce. All the bread and pasta is made each day in their kitchen, which you can see from the restaurant. The bread was absolutely delicious too!
We opted for three starters – one each and one to share. I chose the Crema di piselli, cetriolo, pesto al basilico, uova di anatra in camicia e pecorino – a cream of fresh peas (like a soup), with finely diced cucumber, basil pesto, a poached duck egg with slithers of pecorino (an Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk). The colour was absolutely gorgeously vibrant! This was the first time I’d ever tried a duck’s egg too and it was rich, perfectly poached and worked really well with the peas.
My husband chose the burrata with roasted beetroot, monk’s beard, baby artichokes and bottarga. It should have also had roasted onions but my husband has a serious aversion to onions so asked for them to be excluded.
We chose the tuna tartare with lime, avocado, orange and cucumber to share. We absolutely love tuna tartare and order it often when we’re in the South of Italy as it’s so fresh, light and refreshing. It didn’t disappoint! It was also beautifully presented.
My husband and I have very similar tastes so unsurprisingly we both ordered the same pasta – Tagliolini con polpa di granchio e crema di melanzane (Tagliolini with Cornish crab and an aubergine cream). As tagliolini is quite a thin pasta (it’s like linguine), it’s very easy to overcook it – thankfully this was not the case! The pasta was good although I felt it could have done with maybe a little bit of chilli.
I was so full that there was no way I could have had dessert, although some tasty petit fours were served with my husband’s coffee so I enjoyed having something sweet (and small) to end my meal.
I would definitely recommend Latium for an authentic Italian experience and we will certainly be back.