Great new Italian addition to Marylebone
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 22 Paddington St, Marylebone, Marylebone, London , W1U 5QR, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.fucina.co.uk
Closest Tube : Baker Street, Marylebone
Kurt Zdesar is one of those restaurateurs who can take the pulse of a neighbourhood and deliver a reflection of its soul in the form of a restaurant. Chotto Matte channelled all of the boisterous energy of Soho with its lively vibe and loud Nikkei cuisine, whilst Black Roe evoked the cool glamour of the heart of Mayfair, serving up uber-trendy poke as nutritious as it is delicious. For Marylebone, he's opted for a well-trodden culinary tradition - the neighbourhood Italian done very well - with London legend Stefano Stecca helming the kitchen.
Perched on the northern side of Paddington Street, the restaurant is discreetly nestled behind a cool modernist façade and trendy floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows. The interior of the restaurant has been created Zaha Hadid-style with red bricks that ripple and undulate to replicate the inside of a pizza oven. There are an array of slick banquettes and comfortable chairs arranged along the marble terrazzo floor. A large bar occupies the interior of the room, where bartenders mix Italian cocktails on one side and chefs craft cichetti on the other. Down in the basement, there's a monolithic wine wall and private dining room, which is quite something to look at.
We started our meal off with crostini topped with veal tartare and salsa tonnata, the raw veal given a lick of the ocean from the creamy tuna and anchovy sauce. This was followed by one of the tastiest salads we've sampled this autumn: tangy artichokes with riccola, watercress and Sicilian pachino tomato, mixed together with an otherworldly dressing. Stracciatella with Mazzara prawn and black truffle evinced a titanic depth of flavour, the raw red prawns riffing nicely with the black truffle, bound together by the creamy interior of burrata.
Moving forward, we split a porchetta pizza. The seasoned roast pork was nestled on a white base of fior di latte and white truffle crema, studded with grilled white peach. A filling intermediate course - for those less hungry it could have been a nice meal in itself. Maiale nero pork shoulder was similar to iberico presa, served red in the middle. We paired this with blackened broccoli with spicy Calabrian chilli, which really hit the mark. For dessert, we split a delicious chocolate pralinat served with milk ice cream, with an extra orb of coffee on the side.
Fucina is a great new addition to Marylebone and a proud expansion of the Zdesar portfolio. He's demonstrated both a sensitivity to London wherever he goes, as well as a canny knowledge of what works. We're excited to see what's on his horizon next.