It’s not new, it’s not fancy and it doesn’t rely on social media to pull in the crowds (though some casual tweeting here and there never hurts). It doesn’t matter – Italian cooking of this quality doesn’t usually come with such a reasonable price tag (perhaps with the sole exception of Zucca and we know what it’s like trying to get a table there). The place is part-owned by Giorgio Locatelli and that’s a stamp of approval if ever there was one. The decor is pared down, but not intimidatingly edgy, service is professional and friendly without being obtrusive and this place is jampacked every night of the week. Oh yeah, and the food – well that speaks for itself. We recommend digging into as many cicchetti as your waistband will allow, allowing room for hefty portions of the homemade pasta too. Burrata with tomato bread is a triumph of creamy deliciousness and nettle pasta with duck ragut is a beautiful-looking plate of hearty goodness. Portions are on the generous side, particularly for the price and the wine list is also pretty good value for this part of town.
Birkins and booze are a solid fixture at this Sloaney newbie, sister to the Wolseley and the newest addition to the ever-expanding Corbyn and King empire. Supposedly housed in the most tendered restaurant site in London history, Colbert delivers more in atmosphere than innovation, but who cares? Buzzing from breakfast to last orders, the French brasserie-style menu keeps it simple so expect steak tartare, moules meuniere and assorted ‘croques’. Desserts are worth saving room for (remember the pastry trolley at the Wolseley? We thought so), but most of the clientele save their calories for booze, and plenty of it. Nab an outside table in nice weather if you can. Blink and you’ll miss one; it’s a badly kept secret that this is the people watching spot in SW1.
Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s threw infamous bungabunga parties where the girls flowed as freely as the booze. Transplant Silvio’s good-time sentiment to the middle of Chelsea and turn it into a bar-cum-pizzeria and you have BungaBunga; a ball of kitsch, tongue-in-cheek fun. This makes it a great place a party. Pizza is served by the metre and wine can be had by the litre, so no point doing things by halves. They also do a very generous selection of set menus for big groups. The super-thin, barely there pizza crust will mean you can scarf plenty down no problem anyway. The starters are well worth nibbling at too, especially the zucchini fries. Beware the table nazis though. They do two sittings a night so lateness and lingering are not tolerated. Once you’ve finished eating, they’re more than happy to accommodate you in the bar though where you can slurp champagne cocktails from miniature coliseum replicas.
This is the restaurant everyone should have at the end of their street. This understated Chelsea local serves up top-notch food at seriously reasonable prices. But the quality isn’t really surprising given its pedigree; the owners are protégés of Nigel Platts-Martin, he of ‘The Ledbury’ fame. The place is deliciously unpretentious. The menu, which changes regularly, offers good, simple food, but dressed up like you could never do at home. Mint-coloured trappings breathe some life into the restaurant’s minimalist Nordic stylings, though the light grey theme is a bit staid. This is the perfect place to parade the parents, not so great as a precursor to a party though.