Theo Randall is one of the most well-respected chefs in Italian cuisine and has truly made his mark on the London food scene. In 2006, he opened Theo Randall in the Intercontinental Park Lane and most recently, opened Theo’s Simple Italian in the lovely Hotel Indigo in Earl’s Court. I have always heard fabulous things about Chef Randall’s food and was delighted when I was invited to check out the newly launched brunch at Theo’s Simple Italian.
Theo’s Simple Italian is a two minute walk around the corner from Earl’s Court station. As we walked into the restaurant, I instantly fell in love with the bright and airy decor. Sunshine pours through large windows throughout the restaurant, quirky picture frames adorn chevron-panelled walls, beautiful chandeliers hang above marble-topped tables and plush leather seating in autumnal colours create a cosy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a leisurely outing with friends and family.
We were warmly greeted by the talented Theo himself, who is one of the kindest and friendliest chefs I’ve met in London. He treated us all to a pasta making session, where he shared his personal recipe and tips for creating the perfect pasta dough. He told us that Imperia is his favourite at-home pasta maker, for any of you that are interested. Also, his recipe for the perfect pasta is as follows:
- 300g type 00 flour (special type of Italian flour)
- 100g fine semolina, plus extra for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 6 large egg yolks
- Place all ingredients in a food processor until they form a yellow ball of dough
Chef made the whole pasta-making process look simple and is evidently passionate when it comes to making pasta that tastes as good at home as it does in his restaurants. He showed us how to get the pasta super thin, by rolling it out first and running it through the pasta machine until the dough has a silky, play-doughy like texture. The machine then has different types of cutters depending on what type of pasta you want to make! It was great to hear his tips and advice for how to make delicious pasta at home and so lovely to meet him and chat for a bit. He’s super down to earth and was incredibly welcoming to all of us with any questions we had throughout the brunch.
The four-course brunch menu has a real focus on Italian-style sharing, perfect for those of us who like to celebrate the weekend with fantastic food in a relaxed setting. The brunch menu is £35 per person and includes a glass of champagne on arrival – which is a pretty outstanding deal as far as London standards go!
We kicked off our brunch with delicious right-out-of-the-even focaccia bread alongside antipasti with the creamiest burrata. We all agreed that we would come back for the antipasti starter alone. We had nearly forgotten that more food was on the way and continued to indulge in what tasted like the burrata of dreams. Simple and so good.
We moved on to the Primi and were presented with a lovely Ravioli di Ricotta e Erbette – ravioli with ricotta – again, another simple dish that just hit the spot. Sometimes simple food is the best food. The pasta was perfectly al dente, with a buttery creaminess and the right amount of ricotta filling. I know the premise of the brunch is all about sharing, but this was a dish that I didn’t want to share – let’s be honest, I didn’t want to share any of them.
We also sampled the Pappardelle Pasta with Beef Ragout. one of my favourites of the brunch. Fresh pappardelle topped with tender beef ragout that was slow cooked for six hours. This dish is the ultimate comfort food – ideal for those cold winter days when you’re craving a heavier dish to warm your bones.
And finally, a colourful plate of Spaghetti Pescatore with mussels, clams, San Marzano tomatoes, garlic and tomato sauce on a bed of thin, fresh pasta. I love mussels and love spaghetti, so the two went well hand-in-hand for me. You can truly taste the difference between fresh and dried pasta you buy at the grocery store and Chef Randall has since convinced me that Ciaran and I need to buy a pasta maker and create our own. Fresh pasta is so much more flavourful and satisfying than dry pasta, it’s worth the added effort! We were on to the Secondi and dove fork first into this glorious Bavette, cooked medium rare, on a bed of beans, rocket and tomato. The beef was full of flavour and cooked to perfection and the rocket made the dish a bit lighter. I’m personally not a huge beans fan, but everybody else seemed to really enjoy it with the beans!
The Pork T-Bone with Portobello Mushrooms and Swiss Chard was tender and juicy, just how a Pork T-Bone should taste.
Roasted Sea Bream with colourful fresh tomatoes and veggies made it’s way on to the table as well. Again, another flavourful and stunning dish. The Bavette won for the best Secondi dish for me but overall, I thought the variety was great. There is truly a dish for everyone’s tastes, which makes it one of the top brunch spots in my books.
Bring on the Dulci – gorgeous Tiramisu, decadent chocolate cake, and sultana slices with fresh pear on top. We all grabbed our cameras to get all of our snaps in as quick as we could so we could dig in. I was really happy that I didn’t indulge too much in the Primi and Secondi courses, so I could enjoy this lovely trio of sweets. I loved the Tiramisu and what’s not to love about chocolate cake? The perfect end to our outstanding brunch.
Brunch at Theo’s Simple Italian ticks pretty much all the boxes – the restaurant itself it beautiful, the menu is outstanding and Chef Randall himself is such a charismatic and enthusiastic person – it’s difficult to find any faults at all. For a fantastic Italian-style brunch with an impressive and varied menu, make Theo’s Simple Italian your next go-to spot.
Theo’s Simple Italian | 34-44 Barkston Gardens | London | SW5 0EW | Book Now
I was a guest at Theo’s Simple Italian, but all views and opinions are always my own.