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l’ETO Caffé is a group of six London cafés spread between Soho and the King’s Road in Chelsea. They provide modern, European à la carte dining set in an equally modern and relaxing interior. We dined at the Brompton Road branch opposite the V&A museum, which has recently launched a new autumn menu.
We popped in on a midweek evening around 6pm. Expecting to find a busy venue given the locale, we were pleasantly surprised (although somewhat confused) to find the venue sparsely occupied – this did give us space to relax, though.
Whilst enjoying a cocktail as an aperitif, we perused the menu, choosing the avocado and asparagus salad with yuzu honey dressing with black truffle (£15.95) and burrata, sweet cherry tomatoes with Tuscan olive oil (£12.95) to start. The salad, whilst flavourful and made using fresh, crisp ingredients and sumptuously soft avocado flesh, disappointingly had only the slightest drizzle of the anticipated yuzu honey dressing. The burrata on the other hand was rich and creamy, and we could see food envy at the tables around us.
For our mains we opted for the chicken teriyaki, ginger and oyster mushrooms (£16.90) and seabass ravioli, lobster bisque, prawns and cherry tomatoes (£17.95). These were an improvement on the starters.
As with most seafood ravioli, it was difficult to ascertain the variety of fish, but the creamy ravioli was al dente and the lobster bisque tasty. The chicken teriyaki was well presented and chicken succulent.
Our only point of note here is that when we ordered a second glass of wine, it did seem to take rather a long time to arrive – hopefully not a sign that someone was sent out to buy more.
The desserts (from the window display), which we’d been drooling at since we walked in, were what we had been waiting for most. We refrained from diving head-first into the indulgent and bountiful cake display and after much deliberation we narrowed down our choices to one piece each, choosing a chocolate and hazelnut square and a slice of a fruit and lemon sponge cake. Both tasted as good as they looked.
Since the opening of the first cafe in Soho’s Wardour Street in 2011, which initially focussed on the cakes, we can now understand just why this cafe chain has grown in popularity. I would recommend l’ETO Caffé for a coffee and cake break. Given the immense choice there’s no need to deprive yourself by asking for just one piece – have your cake and eat it, multiple times.
Given the location of l’ETO Caffe on Brompton Road, if you’re visiting one of London’s museums or galleries in South Kensington this should also be on your radar for a relaxed bite to eat.
l’ETO Caffé is located at 243 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EP. More information on other locations and the new Autumn menus are online at etocaffe.co.uk.