Italian pavement dining and people watching – at Venerdi, London.

We wandered along a bustling Hackney street on this sunny summer’s evening and quickly reached our easygoing Italy in London destination – Venerdi !


As it was such nice weather, Martin (the new GM of only three weeks) recommended us to start our evening dining outside on one of the pavement tables. The perfect spot for watching the world go by whilst sipping on a summery drink of Carpenè Malvolti – a rose cuvee brut (£33) with refreshing wild cherries and raspberries flavour notes.


We kicked off our evening with perfectly cooked scallops (£9.50) served with  and on a bed of crushed peas, and fritto misto (£9.90) (or misto fritto as they call it) – you can’t beat a plate of perfectly cooked fried seafood! Loved the use of chickpeas batter made with soda water rather than the traditional batter; created a wonderful textural and flavour element. Though we were sad that they had just changed the menu and the nduja (Italian spicy sausage unique to Calabria) was no longer part of this dish. Anyway, it took us straight back to holidaying by the sea in Calabria, Italy.


Next we moved onto mains of Ribeye Paddella (£16.50) – ribeye in a peppercorn sauce  and spinach – and Salmone alla griglia (£16) – grilled salmon in a lemon butter sauce, though this also had a slight change from seabass ravioli to salmon ravioli.


Unfortunately, the ribeye was slightly overcooked (had gone slightly grey – was medium-well done, rather than what I requested of medium – rare). Though Martin, credit to him, did quickly offer to change this, but it would have meant the rest of the dishes would have gone cold, so we politely declined. Anyway, we were having an enjoyable summer evening dinner outside, so did not mind this as Martin was also being the perfect host and spent time chatting to us, even when the restaurant was busy.

Loved the crab salad (£7.50), especially the vibrant flavours of orange and finely sliced fennel; wild mushrooms (£4.50) and roasted potatoes with rosemary (£4.50) – the rosemary had got all nice and crispy.

These summery dishes went perfectly with the next wine recommendations that would also complement our mains – a Montipulciano and Merlot. We learnt that they take a lot of care and attention with choosing the wines on  their menu to complement the dishes.

As it was starting to get cooler now late evening, Martin suggested we move inside. As we walked into a light and neatly designed restaurant, we got to watch Chef Marco – the ‘pizza master’- in action:


It was a twenty minute wait for the fondant (Tortino al cioccolato – £6) but it was worth it, you could smell the chocolatey aroma as our fondant was cooking. As we cut into the middle of the fondant, molten chocolate oozed out like a lava flow. It was gorgeous and the perfect end to the evening, accompanied by one of Chiara’s favourite desserts – Tiramisu (£5.50).


Keep Venerdi on your radar as they are going to start doing bottomless brunch soon!


Twitter: @VenerdiVenerdi @AlexRosePR #Hackney #London #TravelTuesday #Italy 

#Italian #cuisine @CarpeneMalvolti #rose #cuvee #brut

Instagram: @alexandrarosecreative @venerdi_italian @carpenemalvolti


Thank you to Alexandra for the invite and organising our review meal, and to Martin and Felix for warm and attentive service. We will be back soon to check out the bottomless brunch!


About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
This entry was posted in Alexandra Rose PR, Bars, Beef, Chatsworth Road, chocolate, cocktails, Food Safari ideas, Global inspirations, Hackney, Homerton, Hoxton, Italian, Italy, london, London, Meat, menus and prices, Salmon, seafood, squid, Style of cooking, Tiger Prawns, use of modern ingredients, Venues for special occasions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s