Restaurant Group Chucs recently launched a new Sunday Brunch menu and our restaurant contributor Adrienne was there to review it for Mondomulia.
Words and photos by Adrienne Fung
The other Sunday, I visited Chucs restaurant for lunch with a friend. Tucked in a quiet corner of Mayfair on Dover street, surrounded by trendy galleries and famous auction houses, Chucs Mayfair was the perfect setting for a relaxing Sunday lunch. You can find other outposts of the restaurant around London including Westbourne Grove, Harrods, as well the iconic Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park.
Chucs Mayfair is a cosy and intimate restaurant with only a few tables inside, in addition to the two in the front patio. The restaurant interiors transports you to coastal towns of Italy, reminiscent of old wooden boats and glamorous beach holidays in Positano. Don’t worry if you’ve never been, the restaurant walls are filled with old-times photographs depicting the leisurely scenes.
Chucs Mayfair’s focal point is an impressive bar that stretches to the ceiling, stocked with a generous variety of spirits. Head chef Alessandro Verdenelli helms the kitchen for all Chucs restaurants (there are four locations in London and one in Saint Tropez), bringing Italian classics from his childhood to life. Having trained at the cookery school in Rome , Verdenelli moved to London in 2004. He was Sous Chef at nearby Cecconi’s and worked for Soho House Group prior to taking over at Chucs. Verdenelli’s focus is not only on flavours, but also technique and presentation.
Our brunch started out with Beef carpaccio with rocket & parmesan, Tuna tartare and Bloody Mary’s. Both were delicate and beautifully presented but the beef carpaccio was our favourite between the two. While a simple dish (one you can find at many Italian restaurants), the beef carpaccio was elevated by the extra thick shaves of high quality parmesan in this rendition. The peppery rocket salad was also a welcomed addition to bring some freshness to the plate.
For mains, my friend tried the Saffron risotto with langoustine, while I opted for the Maccheroni pasta alla Bolognese. My friend absolutely loved his risotto and after I tried a bite, I could understand why. The risotto was silky in texture and rich in flavour. Not just an ornament on top, the fragrant langoustine permeated through every bite. The saffron helped cut the richness while adding complexity to the dish.
I also really enjoyed my pasta. The maccheroni were nice and al dente. The shape of the pasta was perfectly engineered to allow an ample amount of sauce to cling onto each noodle. The Bolognese sauce was delicious and full of depth. You could tell it had been cooking for hours.
We finished the meal by sharing a portion of Panna cotta with fresh berries and my friend declared it as the best panna cotta he has had in London. The panna cotta had just the right amount of sweetness and the berry sauce added a nice bit of tartness. It was the perfect end to a lovely meal.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Chucs. It has just the right amount of elegance without being overly stuffy despite being in the heart of Mayfair. The next time you’re doing some shopping in the city centre, stop into Chucs for a cosy Italian meal.
Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.