Italian restaurants in London tend to be on different spectrums; either really affordable serving simple pasta or pizza dishes, or upmarket serving imported ingredients from Italy.
Located in Knightsbridge, Toto’s is a restaurant that reopened last summer under new management, shaking up their food to a more refined menu.
The restaurant is stunning to say the least, starting from the entrance of the building (just off Walton Street) in Walton House, a grade II listed building. This is no Prezzo. Walking into the restaurant you’re greeted by a beautiful bar which even if you’re not here for food, would be great place for drinks if you’re in the area.
Venturing downstairs, the modern decor continues but the dining room still holds classic key features and is certainly unique. It is one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever visited (my pictures do not give the space justice). In summer there is also a hidden courtyard which I unfortunately didn’t get to see but I can imagine is equally as wonderful.
Within the first few minutes of arriving we were treated to a selection of amuse bouche including prosciutto bread sticks, olives and salsa. A bread basket is an optional £2.50 extra and can be ordered alongside the starters.
First starter of choice was parma ham with buffalo mozzarella which although simple, were both imported from Italy and instantly the difference is noticeable.
The parma ham less salty than most, had a strong yet delicate flavour but even so, the stand-out ingredient was the mozzarella. I’ve never had mozzarella that was so fresh, creamy and rich. The best I’ve ever tasted.
My starter of choice was beef carpaccio with truffles, parmesan and plenty of rocket. The arrived platter was certainly more than substantial for one but would be better shared between a small group.
The ingredients were again fresh and imported from Italy and fans of truffle will be delighted to see no shortage whilst the beef was smoky and rich. In contrast, although the pepperiness from the rocket was ideal with all the ingredients on the plate, there was far too much and hid the beautiful beef.
More truffle and this time resting against creamy, silky tagliatelle. The pure simplicity of the dish and the inclusion of other mushrooms kept the strong earthy flavour, balanced with the creamy sauce.
My small pasta dish was lobster tagliolini with sweet chilli and cherry tomatoes. The lobster was plentiful with soft, succulent meat from the claws and tail, on top of a sweet-chilli, tomato based sauce that was still subtle, letting the lobster do all the talking.
For mains, my accomplice ordered the beef tagliata (steak) which she ordered as medium-well. Unfortunately, some of the beef was a little too pink for her liking. The steak was average, a little under seasoned (traditionally tagliata is only seasoned with salt) and at £27.75, doesn’t compare to the major steakhouses in London such as Hawksmoor.
I chose a less glamorous main; veal Milanese. The dish was disappointingly average; chewier than expected with not a lot of taste from the veal. The potatoes were seasoned well and fluffy on the inside and the salad was a nice addition but with a dish that costs £24.75, I was expecting a lot more.
The cannolo with cream and raspberry sauce, picked the menu back up with rich creamy flavours to match the tart sauce and arrived beautifully presented with a caramel crisp to finish. If I wasn’t so full, I could have eaten plenty more.
Being a huge lover of crème brûlée and having some sort of strange attachment to the dish, Toto’s offering was dissatisfying. The orange was a little too strong masking the subtle hint of ginger and I missed the traditional vanilla from the original French classic.
Even though the dishes weren’t perfect, it’s clear to see that Toto’s excels in its most simplest dishes. The restaurant isn’t cheap but if you’re wandering around the area, you’re probably not expecting it to be so. For those searching for an Italian serving dishes with superb ingredients and potentially for an evening to treat someone special, it’s perfect and you won’t find a more beautiful setting.
I was kindly invited to review Toto’s.
– Toto’s, Knightsbridge