Review of Café Murano - elegant casual Italian dining in Covent Garden

A while ago, someone recommended I tried out Cafe Murano. Which is Angela Hartnett's Northern Italian restaurant. But a restaurant under a Michelin star chef surely is going to cost a bit right? Well actually Cafe Murano isn't as expensive as you'd think.  However, since it’s always nice to bag a bargain, I found an OpenTable offer which was a 2 course dinner for £23 or make it a 3 course and you can have it for £32. Oh and did I say it includes a glass of prosecco? Bargain!


I had a booking for 6:30pm on a Tuesday night. I arrived slightly before my friend so had time to absorb the lovely atmosphere of the restaurant. Whilst Cafe Murano is supposed to be casual dining, the dark leather seats and wooden tables make it all very grand. It was quiet when I first arrived, but it soon filled up with couples, families, and colleagues – showing Cafe Murano is suitable for all types of diners.

Once you’ve ordered your food, the lovely waiter will bring over a small plate of focaccia for you to nibble.


For starters we chose:

Seabream Crudo, Hazelnut, Chilli & Blood Orange – crudo means raw. The raw slices of seabream are mixed with succulent pieces of blood orange. Both are cut to similar size and I’m assuming this is to keep the textures balanced. With each bite, you’ll taste the freshness of the seabream, the zing and sweetness from the blood orange, and the subtle spice from the chilli flakes. The added whole hazelnuts made the dish really interesting too. Overall this was an interesting and refreshing starter.

Vitello Tonnato, Caper & Parmesan – thinly slices of veal served at room temperature, with a creamy sauce. The veal was cooked perfectly. The rich creamy sauce was balanced well with the sharpness of the capers. The generous shaving of parmesan added an extra depth of flavour to the whole dish. I was pleasantly surprised by this dish, and it was probably my favourite of the night!

For mains:

Hake, Orzo & Harissa, Rocket – two chunky pieces of pan fried hake, served on top of orzo flavoured with harissa and a side salad of rocket. The hake was moist, showing it was cooked just right. The wedge of lemon also helped to bring the dish to life. 


Wild Mushroom & Porcini Risotto – this might look very pretty, but it sure was tasty! The earthy flavour from the mix of wild mushrooms was lovely and made the dish so comforting. The only downside, was that it was a touch too salty for me.

Lastly, in the true style of The Greedy Panda, we of course had to have desserts:

Chocolate Caprese, Mascarpone – this was a slice of a traditional Italian chocolate cake, made with nuts. I found out that it’s named after the island of Capri, where this cake originates from. It’s not like a soft chocolate cake, this one has more of a crisp airy texture. But it was still quite rich, and so the mascarpone helped to cut through the richness. Overall, I didn’t think this was anything special though.

Hazelnut Torrone, Amaretti – torrone is Italian nougat. But this one from Café Murano was a soft ice-cream! Either way, it was really tasty. The sprinkle of amaretti on top added an extra sweet crispiness so I’d recommend this over the chocolate caprese.

At the end of my meal, I left feeling pretty content. I’d say this 3 course meal deal was a good little taster of Café Murano, but nothing to really shout about. Looking at what the other diners order off the a la carte menu, there’s definitely much better dishes to have. Oh and if you have space after your meal, definitely get a tea or coffee, because it's served with a soft biscotti that's real yummy!



Address: 36 Tavistock Street, London, WC2E 7PB

Phone: 020 7240 3654