Or as us Brits would say, ‘have you had dinner?’ If not, the latest opening from Jason Atherton will hit the spot!Hai Cenato is a New York inspired Italian restaurant, specialising in fresh stonebaked pizzas. Based in London Victoria’s new NOVA complex, the venue is in good company. Surrounded by other new openings, of Rail House Café, Timmy Green and Shake Shack, as well as the soon to launch Stokehouse, Sticks & Sushi and Bone Daddies, finally making Victoria a foodie destination.
After Giles Coren reported it was the best pizza he’d ever tasted, we had to give Hai Cenato a go, and popped by for an early mid-week dinner, via Rail House Café for a savoury Saffron Spritz in the sunshine.
The menu is packed with mouth-watering small dishes, pasta & risottos, as well as larger grills and sharing dishes….but we were there for the pizza. Split into Pizza Rossa (tomato base) and Pizza Bianca (no-tomato), the toppings celebrate the finest in Italian ingredients, as well as slightly more interesting elements, like confit lamb neck, ras el hanout and Yukon gold potato! Each month the menu also features a ‘Guest Chef Pizza of the Month’, from the likes of Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth and Peter Sanchez, with £1 of each sale going to Hospitality Action.
Seeing the size of the pizza, we started light with a selection of Cobble Lane Cured salamis and meats, and the Castelfranco Romain prosciutto, fennel and soft & salted egg with yogurt – an absolute delight and great start to the meal. We followed with a pizza each from the Pizza Rossa menu. Mine was a combination of spicy Nduja, salty anchovy and smoky harissa, with each bite of the doughy goodness offering a different flavour sensation – reinforcing Giles Coren’s opinion that it was indeed a damn fine pizza.
With just enough space left for pudding, the warm brioche, salted caramel gelato sandwich drew my attention immediately, however, I opted for a slightly lighter sweet and creamy gelato cone from the deli counter, meaning I just about had the ability to still walk out at the end of the meal.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening and an exciting new destination – I can’t wait to go back and work through the rest of the menu.
Written by Carly Smith, Account Director.