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- Restaurant review: TOZI Grand Cafe – Battersea Power Station, London - 29 December, 2022
Part of the new art’otel London Battersea Power Station, we were invited to visit the newly opened TOZI Grand Cafe offering a menu rooted in northern Italian traditions. Here’s our review.
TOZI Grand Cafe
In a circular venue, TOZI Grand Cafe continues the stylings of its parent building art’otel London Battersea Power Station, with artworks hung throughout including incorporating these as dividers between tables. In the centre, integrated into the fabric of the space is a mobile of red shapes, some with integrated lights, that, if aligned would appear to recreate a Picasso-style face. The outward facing part of the circular room has floor to ceiling windows, which in warmer months we are told will open onto an alfresco terrace.
On arrival (via the hotel rather than the direct hotel restaurant entrance, which is currently less-than-obvious with the terrace not yet open), we were greeted by restaurant manager, Julian, who seated us, and offered us a cocktail.
Guests can choose from an aperitivo menu that includes barrel-aged Negronis, Bellinis or seasonal spritzes, as well as an all-Italian wine list, perfectly matched to the food offering. We opted for the Olive oil Negroni (£13), Italian Marmellata (£15), made with gin, lillet, Campari, marmalade and bitters. Both were very clean and well-presented though with only one member of staff behind the bar at that point in time, we did have rather a long wait for drinks.
After eventually getting a menu, we had a look across the antipasti, cicchetti, pasta, and secondi courses. We selected some Rosemary focacia (£5.50) as a small plate to share, which arrived promptly with our pasta dishes of Pappardelle (£12.50) with braised wild boar and Paccheri (£12.50) with cuttlefish, squid and olives. Both pastas were perfectly cooked (just a touch past al-dente), holding their sauces well with rich flavours. With advice from Julian, we also ordered a bottle of red wine: Primitivo Salento, from Puglia (£29) to share alongside our food.
For main courses, we both chose meat in the form of Veal Milanese (£26.50) with marinated tomatoes, and Chicken breast (£22.50) served on polenta, with woodland mushrooms and kale, and a sharing side of tenderstem broccoli (£5). As expected with good Italian food, the veal was simple, but very well done, crispy on the outside but tender meat within. The chicken dish will appeal to both Italians and Brits alike, reminiscent of a Sunday roast textures, but with creamy polenta and the earthy tastes of the mushrooms.
For dessert, we chose a Sfogliatelle Napoletane pastry each (£4.50) plus a Gianduiotto (chocolate) tart (£8.75) to share. The former were light, crisp, and have no elegant way of eating them, so we suggest to dive in and enjoy full immersion into puff pastry and cream. The latter was rich and smooth.
We visited on the first Friday after the restaurant launch, so the venue was at full capacity throughout most of our service. There were plenty of serving staff, but clearly they have not yet got into the high-performing rhythm that Julian has developed in his previous locations. We had a long wait to get a menu and to place orders, and for the first hour there was only one person behind the bar when definitely two were needed. Hopefully these points will iron themselves out over the coming weeks, as the team gets into a steady routine of service. That said, Julian and the team were all friendly and approachable, and when we did ask for something, we always received it with a smile.
TOZI have a strong offering, adding to the rapidly growing restaurant scene in the new Battersea Power Station development. This will be immediately noticeable to locals, but for those visiting (from both London or beyond), we recommend TOZI as a comfortable, relaxed venue from the busyness of Battersea Power Station and for those with an interest in art installations whilst dining – dining at TOZI feels almost like guests themselves become part of the work of art that is the venue. Our meal would cost about £80pp for three courses including cocktails and wine.
We are keen to go back in summer 2023 when we can get the full experience of a Bellini or Hugo Spritz on the outdoor terrace in the sunshine, as a break from shopping at Aesop and the like inside Battersea Power Station.
TOZI Grand Cafe is located at: 3A Electric Boulevard, London, SW11 8BJ
For more information on TOZI, the menus or to book, visit tozigrandcafe.co.uk