Having never been to London’s infamous Intercontinental Hotel before, when I was invited to sample the La Dolce Vita Weekend Brunch menu at Theo Randall’s restaurant (Theo was previously head chef at the River Cafe for 15 years) I jumped at the chance, and it did not disappoint. Theo launched Theo Randall at the InterContinental, in November 2006 and his commitment to delivering rustic produce-driven Italian food has earned him loyal followers and rave reviews from critics and food-lovers.
Arriving at the restaurant situated on London’s prestigious Park Lane on Sunday afternoon I was suitably impressed by the restaurant’s uber chic entrance and Maitre D’s warm greeting.
We were led to our table, a chic eau de nil coloured leather banquet in a beautiful setting.
The head waiter who served us was as equally as warm and chatty as the Maitre D and talked us through how the brunch menu worked. We were first to choose from the buffet to start and then place an order for our main course. We were also told the brunch menu included an hour and a half of unlimited complimentary Prosecco and asked us if we’d like a glass. I of course replied “It would be rude not to!”
Having forgone breakfast in favour of lunch I was glad that I had when visiting the buffet, as a virtual feast lay before me with with an assortment of Italian fresh meats, salamis, cheeses (including delicious Parmesan and a rich, creamy Burrata, which are two of my favourites), Italian salads and olives. These all tasted incredibly fresh, delicious and authentic – the flavour and calibre of this would rival any restaurant in Italy itself. It was so delicious I went up three times!
The ravioli was at a separate station and after spying my husband’s plate of it and hearing his oohing and aahing I knew I had to make room for it before my main choice of Guinea Fowl arrived. The roasted squash, ricotta and marjoram ravioli with butter and sage was perfectly cooked and delicious, but very filling so three pieces was more than enough!
We asked for a short break before our main courses arrived so our food could digest and we could enjoy our Guinea Fowl, that we had both chosen. I opted for mine without the proscuitto, thyme and mascarpone, but the waiter kindly brought us some roast potatoes instead (my weakness) to accompany it with the portobello mushrooms and Swiss chard that comes with the dish. It was all flavoursome and the guinea fowl was tender and perfectly cooked.
The waiter talked us into to having the selection of desserts of panna cotta, cheesecake, chocolate torte and apple and almond cake to share and I’m so glad he did, as they were all mouth-wateringly delicious – my favourite was surprisingly the cheesecake as it’s not usually a dessert I enjoy, but this one was fantastic.
We were so full afterwards that we decided to take a leisurely walk around the beautiful Intercontinental hotel.
The cost for the La Dolce Vita Weekend brunch with unlimited Prosecco and Bellini’s for an hour and a half is £49 per person, which my husband and I agreed is tremendously good value for the amount and quality of the food.
I would definitely recommend this for authentic Italian weekend brunch to share with friends and whilst there my husband and I were already planning who we would return with, as we know our family and friends would enjoy this Theo Randall experience as much as we did.
For the rest of the week the daily changing menu is inspired by his regular trips to Italy and dictated by the best seasonal ingredients available from the market each day. Theo has personally overseen the extensive wine list that features 90% Italian varietals. Indeed a place where you can enjoy La Dolce Vita.