Shopping is one of those things best left to others to do. They can do it so much better than me, so I would rather leave them to it; if it doesn’t fit they can take it back. If you don’t like the colour they can take it back. After a while they get the hint and you no longer get gifts of things you never wanted. So when I was invited to Westfield Shopping Centre I was not enthused, until I was told I simply needed to go and try out Kitchen Italia, situated on the corner of one of the shopping complexes, I didn’t even have to enter the shops. Marvellous!
Kitchen Italia prides itself as using only fresh food and preparing all their food to order. Given the range of food on the menu this is no easy task, and something worth hunting for. So I duly followed the hoards of shoppers, breaking away when I came to Kitchen Italia. The table layout is geared around Italian communal dining; long bench tables inside and smaller bench tables outside and even a single line bench for the solo eater. Given the summer rain I was tempted to sit inside, but decided on outside as the large awning covered us from the rain and allowed the cool summer breeze to float through.
The tables were decorated by live basil plants, cheese jar, pepper mills and a range of Kitchen Italia oils. A waitress came over to take our drinks order, followed shortly by another for the food order.
For starters we ordered a meat platter and a vegetable terrine. Both cold, both simple, but to be enjoyed. For mains we order a classic Carbonara and a Goats Cheese and Red Onion pizza. A bottle of the exceedingly well priced Blush was ordered to wash it down with.
After just over 30 minutes our starters arrived. Pleasant to look at, freshly made, but certainly not a 30 minute wait of freshness. The meat platter had a good quantity and range of meat on it, and a light mustard dressing that was a good match. The Vegetable Terrine looked very good, and I found it to be crunchy in all the right places and not greasy as some aubergine wrapped dishes are.. My partner was less enthusiastic about it, finding the aubergine wrap a bit too dry and lacking in oil. What can you say about the uneducated palate?
After another long delay our mains arrived. The pizza looked great, the Carbonara less so; it simply needed a bit of better presentation I felt. However it was a real egg Carbonara, and as such tasted very Italian and authentic. I drizzled some of the pre-grated parmesan from the glass cheese jar onto it and tucked in. It was the real deal, and if you have had the cheap version with cream and not egg then you simply must try the Kitchen Italia version.
The Pizza was tasty, well cooked and ample sized, let down by having the cheapest stoned green olives put on; a simple nip to the olive seller next door would have added real value to this dish, and the chef should be allowed this freedom.
We were offered deserts, but having spent nearly 2 hours to get to this stage, decided to call it a day and return to the bustle of regular life.
Overall Kitchen Italia is a good place to go for lunch if you are not in a hurry. The tables are well spaced out, and can cater for young children, with colouring sets, toys and clip-on baby high seats. This could be a Daddy paradise, as you could eat, drink, relax unhurried whilst your other half continues shopping; just make sure you ask for the crayon set for the kids. I think a few tweeks in presentation would make this a place you would recommend, rather than only say how good it was if asked. Make the most of it now before it gets well known.
The meal, including the wine came to about £35 which in my mind is money well spent. Even better if it takes you out of shopping for a few hours.
London W12 7GB