Saturday, 28 May 2011

Motoring Ahead on the Kings Road

Mare Moto is fast becoming a staple in my SW6 routine. I have grown such a fondness for this Italian establishment and recommend it left, right and centre to anyone that will listen. What is so very special about Mare Moto is that it has many faces-all of which work and cater brilliantly for the target market.

Firstly I feel it is necessary to point out that most of my peers and SW6 neighbours love the Friday nightclub, sugary cocktail, multicoloured dance floor characteristic of Mare Moto, something it does very well which we have already reviewed here. However, as well as providing a fun, safe and cool environment to let your hair down on a Saturday night Mare Moto has leaped ahead in the dining stakes.

Having sampled pretty much every local Italian in SW6 and every restaurant on that strip of New Kings Road I feel rather ashamed that I have overlooked Mare Moto when choosing a dinner location. I feel to begin with I have to gush about the exceptional service- we were looked after by Adriano Webb Carlucci, Executive Restaurant Manager, like we were his own. From New York, but also with Tuscan heritage, Adriano knows his stuff when it comes to the hospitality industry (he has served Clint Eastwood and Johnny Depp in LA!). Jess had only just finished telling Adriano that she was about to embark on a two week Italian holiday and before she knew it an extensive Italian wine list with full descriptions of every grape was upon her. Adriano personally recommended something very special, a Tuscan Vernaccia from San Gimignano, a vineyard that he had personally visited.....swoon.

This personalised service was not just for us, we watched as every other customer (the restaurant was full of regulars) were treated like VIP’s and all seemed to be on first name terms with the waiting team, very impressive. The restaurant not only benefits from its prime location but also from being unique in having the front facing outdoor terrace cutely decorated with vines and fairy lights. As dusk falls and the wine flows it is a very magical place to be in SW6.

After much admiring of the modern elegance of the restaurant and sussing out the other diners we turned our attentions to the sophisticated menu. To start we shared the ‘Rotelle di vegetali alla Parmigiana’ and ‘Calamari e Zucchini Fritti con salsa piccante’ and were very impressed when two plates groaning with Italian decadence arrived. For those who appreciate Italian food it really knocks the socks off its competition; fresh, mouth-wateringly good flavours and tastes left us feeling (with some creative imagination) that we could be in Tuscany.

The main courses were yet again huge bowls of steaming freshly cooked Italian pasta; Pappardelle with mushrooms and steak for Jess and Spaghetti Vongole for me. Mine had the perfect quantity of chilli giving it an exciting kick but not overpowering the taste of the clams. Jess said her beef was cooked to perfection and accompanied the fungi perfectly. It was at this point that Jess started to get very excited at the prospect of living on this food for two weeks but also panic at how she would burn it all off! Anyway that didn’t matter, when in Rome we decided to share a dessert and opted for Adriano’s recommendation of the Banoffee Pie. Again like everything that Adriano had recommended we were not disappointed, it was as delicious as everything else had been and as we fought over the last spoonful it dawned on us that we were Mare Moto converts for life.

Mare Moto prides itself on offering an authentic Italian dining experience which also retains the level of service and attention to detail of a top London restaurant. It is extremely reasonably priced; our starters were £5.50 each which is the same as Pizza express! Yet again with every market that they cater for Mare Moto gets it spot on and it’s no doubt that we will be back there again and again- but maybe not straight after Jess’s visit to Italy as I have a feeling after two weeks she may be sick to death of pasta!


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