Fiume is the latest restaurant to open within the D&D London portfolio – we have reviewed several of the group’s other establishments in the last couple of years including:
The restaurant is part of the emerging Circus West Village within the new Battersea Power Station development. Other outlets already open include Italian pizza restaurant Mother, gastropub No. 29 Power Station West, coffee shop The CoffeeWorks Project, wine bar, winery and shop Vagabond Wines, and seafood restaurant Wright Brothers. They will gradually be joined by others including Ben’s Canteen, Duckroad, Flour Power City Bakery, Pedler Cru and Tonkotsu.
WHERE IS IT?
On the south side of Chelsea Bridge, overlooking The Thames (hence the restaurant’s name Fiume, which translates as “river”). If arriving on foot, take the lift / steps by the bridge and walk along the path towards Battersea Power Station until you see a brightly coloured sign saying “Power” painted on the arches of the railway line – walk under the arches and you’ll see Fiume ahead of you, next to Wright Brothers.
If arriving by taxi, ask for the Circus West Village (or Sopwith Way if the driver is not familiar with the development).
Public transport is a little more tricky, at least until 2020 when the extension of the Northern Line is due to open. Battersea Park rail station is around ten minutes walk south, while Victoria rail and Underground is just over a mile away across the river, and Sloane Square Underground station (on the District and Circle line) just under a mile away.
The area is served by several bus routes, and the Thames Clipper River Bus service has a stop at the Battersea Power Station pier.
There’s a terrace area at the front of the restaurant, overlooking the River Thames, which will no doubt be popular in the summer months, particularly as more residents move into the area. We visited on a chilly evening in early February, and there were comfortable-looking sheepskin blankets on the chairs, and heaters for those brave enough to sit outside.
The interior is a bright open space, with a bar on the left handside and two large, communal-style high-tables, as well as a handful of individual tables, and behind this is an open kitchen with pizza oven.
The main dining area is to the right hand side, and is banked around three sides by long turquoise sofa-style seating, with individual chairs on the opposite side of the tables, and further tables towards the front looking out onto the terrace and river beyond.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
We decided to have a cocktail at the bar before dinner, from a list including negronis, bellinis and sangria. We chose the signature Fiume Aperitivo, which was described by the barman as being “like a posh Buck’s Fizz”. Don’t let that put you off though – the mixture of marsala, bergamot, prosecco and lemon was a light, refreshing start to the evening.
For dinner we chose a table at the front by the floor-to-ceiling windows, thinking it would be nice to look out onto the Thames. Unfortunately the view (from our table at least) was partially obstructed by a large sculpture of empty glass bottles in the terrace area, which seemed strange when one of the selling points of the restaurant going forward will be its riverside location.
The restaurant is headed up by chef patron Francesco Mazzei and head chef Francesco Chiarelli, who have previously worked together at L’Anima and another of D&D London’s eateries Sartoria. They both hail from the Calabria region of Italy, which has inspired Fiume’s menu described as offering “rustic southern Italian recipes and aperitivos”.
My guest, who likes to be prepared at all times, had researched the menu online beforehand, and so was able to educate me on what to expect from dishes including “lamb Scottadito” (literally “burned fingers”, but basically lamb chops) and “wild sea bass guazetto” (fish stew). I feel that a bit more information on the menu would have been useful, although to our waiter’s credit she was incredibly patient in going through the choices and making recommendations.
To start I had the selection of salami with pickles and carasau bread (a traditional crisp flatbread from Sardinia), while my guest had the vitello tonnato, a classic Italian dish of sliced veal served cold and covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce flavoured with tuna.
The beige colour of this dish means it is never going to win any awards for aesthetics, but the flavour combination of the veal with the tuna and sauce was surprisingly good, and something I would order again.
For the main course my guest chose the sirloin steak, which he said was cooked very well, while I had the crab and Amalfi lemon tagliolini. The homemade pasta was cooked well and the lemon flavour came through nicely, but I was a bit disappointed by the crab element – I had been hoping for chunks of crab meat within the tagliolini, but in reality the flakes of crab were at times hard to find.
Thankfully dessert was the highlight for both of us. My guest chose the tiramisu, a dish which he says ranks among his top three of favourite desserts, and by the look of the way he polished off this one, it lived up to expectations. I had the sbriciolata, a sort of cookie cake filled with ricotta and jam, which was a perfect end to the meal – sweet and indulgent, leaving me just the right side of full.
This was excellent throughout, from the barman who recommended the cocktails before dinner, to the waitress who patiently and thoroughly answered our questions regarding the menu.
A good addition to the ever expanding D&D London group, in what is effectively a brand new riverside area of London.
- Monday: closed
- Tuesday-Friday: lunch 1200-1500, dinner 1800-2200
- Saturday: lunch 1100-1500, dinner 1800-2200
- Sunday: lunch 1100-1600
Cichetti and antipasti £6-£14.50, primi and secondi £14.50-32.50; sides £4.50-£6.50; desserts £5.50-£6.50.
Fiume, Circus West, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN; tel ++44 (0)20 3904 9010; fiume-restaurant.co.uk