Before going to Bocconcino I have heard mixed reviews on this Russian-owned Italian restaurant situated in Mayfair. So it was only fair that I went with an open mind as everyone’s taste and dining experience may differ. Although, a part of me did expect the restaurant to be great as I thought “If this restaurant isn’t up to standard, how would it survive in Mayfair?” Especially when it’s a stone throw away from Novikov, Park Chinois and Nobu, other well-known restaurants on Berkeley street. On the other hand, some reviews I have read seem to put the restaurant on a rather average rating.
Thinking about it, I do have to say I tend to be somewhat biased. Usually I’m not very fond of venturing out to Italian restaurants because I haven’t been to many that I find really good and satisfying, there’s so many Italian chains on the high street and I can easily cook pasta at home or get a pizza delivery.
But after dining at Bocconcino, my views have slightly changed and this restaurant is definitely worth recommending. The interior decor of the restaurant looked classy and elegant which is perfect for a date night or for a small group of family and friends to catch up with each other over a glass of wine and decent plates of food. The service was great and the staff were really attentive and friendly.
So the evening started off with perfectly pan-seared juicy scallops served with creamy cauliflower purée and bottarga. We couldn’t fault this dish at all as we enjoyed this dish a lot and we finished off the whole plate.
We ordered the Andria burrata with aubergine and pesto to share. When I saw this on the menu I was attracted to it instantly as I love all the components of this dish. When it came, the burrata was fresh with a liquid-creamy, luxurious centre and the soft aubergine were chopped into good bite-sized chunks. However, I found the dish to be a bit bland. The burrata needed a bit of salt to enhance the flavours as the only element that we tasted was the pesto. I recently tried the burrata at Padella which I preferred more but they over-seasoned it with salt. So I am still on the quest to find the perfect burrata that is to my taste.
The third dish we ordered for starters was the baby octopus in Luciana style. The broth was delicious and packed full of flavours and the portion size was generous so we couldn’t finish it off as we knew we had the mains and desserts to look forward to.
For mains, the pasta I ordered was excellent and the dish was very flavoursome, unlike chain restaurants where sometimes I tend to find the pasta to be either too dry or bland as the flavours of the seafood, meat or sauce generally isn’t infused in with the pasta. Yet, when I tried the lobster linguine at Bocconcino, I can say that it’s one of the best ones I’ve had. The pasta was infused with flavours, you could taste that the dish was cooked as a whole and it was pretty hard to not finish every strand of the linguine.
My friend ordered the Scottish beef fillet. The beef fillet was juicy but it was slightly more over-cooked than we would have liked it as we both like our beef to be cooked to medium-rare. Yet, my friend really enjoyed the grilled tomato that came with the fillet. We were both surprised as my friend doesn’t normally eat tomatoes. Hearing someone that previously hated tomatoes complimenting and thoroughly enjoying it was like seeing a total solar eclipse, rare but not impossible.
The meal was finished off perfectly with desserts, which we ordered Millefoglie and Tiramisu. Both desserts were beautifully presented. Tiramisu is one of my favourite Italian desserts but on this occasion my friend preferred it more whereas I was won over by the Milliefoglie. The flavours of the coffee and alcohol in the Tiramisu was strong. The Milliefoglie was more delicate, the sweet pastry was thin and crispy and it was a delight when paired with Chantilly cream, raspberry coulis and chocolate.
Overall, we had such a wonderful evening and we ended up staying there for more than three hours but we never felt rushed and the staff came over to talk to us and offered us limoncello and coffee afterwards.
Address: 19 Berkeley St, Mayfair London, W1J 8ED
Have you been to any Italian restaurant recently that’s worth recommending?
Would love to know what’s your favourite Italian restaurant, please feel free to share with us.