This classy and stylish looking Italian restaurant could use just a few tweaks to the menu to be completely perfect.
Based on Kensington High Street, the stylish and relaxed in vibe Como Garden is inspired by the scenery of Italy’s Lake Como and its surrounding areas. This is not only seen through the way in which the restaurant has been carefully designed in layout but is then reflected through the menu which has plenty to offer.
The menu is filled with of an array of Italian dishes that while full of flavour (with some slightly over powering the senses, distracting from the central component of the dish) can be overly rich – but then it really does depend on what you go for. Working as a tapas style menu, you are recommended to select two to three dishes per person, which seems reasonable until you see the size of the portions, which although described as either ‘small’ or ‘medium’ bites seem to be (in my opinion at least) slightly bigger than expected.
The other thing to be noted with Como Garden is that after you have ordered, each dish comes to the table as soon as it is ready – and not simply as a starter, main course and dessert style of way of serving. This is of course absolutely fine and it does mean that service is efficiently smooth that allows you to enjoy each dish in no particular order – but it also means it can make it also seem on some level that they are trying to rush you through your meal, rather than allowing you the opportunity to really savour the dish.
So on to the menu itself. While there is plenty of variety for you to choose from, there is certainly a staple of ingredients that are used – particularly with regards to olives,tomatoes and mushrooms which is not offensive by any means but feels as though it could have been diversified further to celebrate a fuller a range of ingredients that Italy is known to use.
From the antipasti tapas selection, I sampled Peppers From Livio’s Mum, otherwise known as oven baked stuffed pepper. What I should have probably enquired about while ordering is what the pepper was stuffed with as I was surprised to find it was stuffed with meat – a little clarification would have would have been nice on the menu. While the density of meat was quite heavy, the sweetness of the pepper did cut through that somewhat.
Meanwhile, the Pecorino, Taleggio Cheese & Truffle Filling Raviolo while deliciously creamy – it was also extremely rich, so if you do order I do recommend that one is perhaps enough. The Tomato & Parmesan Beef Meatballs were a favourite dish as was the Sea Bass Alla Siciliana – which was deliciously sweet. While on their own, each dish would be suitable even as a main course it feels as though it is an overly rich offering, particularly given the portion sizes which are quite generous – but as I mentioned earlier it may come down to what you choose to order.
The overall vibe of the restaurant is relaxed and friendly, with the staff actively ready to help with whatever is required and it seemed as though those in the restaurant were enjoying themselves – no matter the occasion as to why they were there. Just a few tweaks to the menu will make a difference.
By Emma Clarendon