Fino

33 Charlotte Street,
(Entrance on Rathbone Street)
London W1T 1RR
0207 813 8010
http://www.finorestaurant.com/

Opening Hours
Lunch:
Monday to Friday 12-2.30pm
Dinner:
Monday to Saturday 6-10.30pm

We arrived at 12:30pm, and the dining room was eerily empty. We sat wondering why we seemed to be the only customers, until 1pm, when the dining room quickly filled up. We were served by a very friendly waiter who was more than willing to recommend dishes to us, and we chatted freely during our meal. He commented that our choice of dishes was very good, and it would showcase the range of dishes available in Fino.

We sat at the counter, and it was very interesting seeing and hearing the way the kitchen worked. The executive chef is Italian, but he lived in Spain, and it was very exciting seeing the way orders are shouted out and just basically Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen coming alive.

The food was all very good. The Ham Croquetas were simply amazing. They were soft and delicate, yet with a very strong flavor. K couldn’t stop himself from picking at my portion. The queen scallops came sitting in a little too much olive oil, and were rather disappointing. We expected a lot more taste out of them, as they looked beautiful. Our next dish was the squid, and this was excellent. The squid tentacles especially were simply crispy heaven. We didn’t care too much for the body of the squid though, as it was slightly rubbery.

The razor clams too came drenched in olive oil, but they were divine. They came beautifully stacked, and tasted equally wonderful. We noticed that all our dishes have been beautifully presented, and our next dish certainly did not disappoint. This was the tuna tartar with guacamole. Eaten just by itself, the tuna tartar was a little towards the salty side, and had a distinctly Chinese taste, as there was a lot of sesame oil used to marinate it. Paired together with the guacamole however, the taste got more well-balanced.

Our server recommended the brill to us, and this did not disappoint. Bones notwithstanding, the fish was well cooked and it was a surprisingly large portion to boot. Our lamb main was almost the best lamb we have ever had. There was no overpowering smell of lamb in the dish, and it was cooked a perfect medium well. Our crisp pork belly wasn’t particularly crisp, and there was an unfortunate accident while K was trying to wrestle with cutting it. However, it was very delicious, though we’ve definitely had better ones elsewhere.

K was very happy with the savoy cabbage and pancetta dish. He felt it almost comparable to his grandmother’s cooking – one of the highest compliments he has ever given out. Indeed it was very rustic, though the pancetta added little to the dish – but we’re not complaining.

We were very full from all our dishes, and extremely satisfied. We felt inspired enough by their dessert menu though, and opted for 2 of their desserts: the Chocolate mousse and the fried donuts. K felt the chocolate mousse was strangely warm, but the donuts were beautifully light and fluffy.

Overall this was a very good meal. We felt that the 50% offer for lunch made this place far more worth a visit than its sister restaurant, Barrafina. We felt lucky for having such a helpful server, and we made a note to ourselves to try the Chipirones (deep fried squid) the next time.

Additional Comments: 50% during lunch if you dine at the eating table

Service: 9/10
Food: 8.5/10

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One response to “Fino

  1. thanks for recommending this place for lunch last week! i’m trying to find some space in my sister’s shopping schedule to bring her here so i can eat here again!=) you should mention the squid ink rice thingy too..that was my favourite dish by far! the blackest thing you’ll ever see but tasted awesome…=)

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