Cult Milanese pasta restaurant, miscusi, opened its first international site in London’s Covent Garden last month. Our guest writer and pasta expert Elena Kryvunda was there to try it out. Here’s her review!
This December I was invited to taste a new Italian place, miscusi, a pasta restaurant chain that champions the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Originally launched in Milan by ‘Forbes Under 30’ entrepreneur Alberto Cartasegna, miscusi now has 13 restaurants in seven Italian cities.
Miscusi in London is a spacious two floor restaurant located at 23 Slingsby Place in The Yards, Covent Garden. The ground floor is entirely devoted to a coffee counter and pasta shop with a vast selection of pasta and sauces, while the main restaurant and the kitchen are located on the first floor. The restaurant ambiance is warm with an Italian taverna style, yet refined and adapted for the age of social media (lights are strategically placed for the obligatory Instagram post).
The menu mainly revolves around homemade pasta dishes based on seasonal ingredients. You can choose from the pasta menu, which includes lots of vegetarian options, or get creative by choosing your favourite type of pasta paired with your sauce of choice.
There are also a couple of starters, including the world-famous burrata cheese, aubergine parmigiana and even hummus on sourdough bread. To top it all off, there’s also a selection of homemade desserts, as well as an array of cocktails and Italian wines.
For starters, we were offered a tasty burrata with dried tomatoes to share, followed by four different types of pastas as our main course. We decided to try the Pacchero Tricolore, Rigatoni al Tonno e Pistacchi, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, and Ravioli with Zucca and Ricotta.
Our favourite was the Carbonara with durum wheat spaghetti, egg, Pecorino Romano PDO and crispy pork cheek. Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a surprisingly difficult to get right and we were both pleasantly surprised by it. After living in Rome for many years, I am an expert in this dish and I can say that, at miscusi, the texture of the egg was on point, the guanciale was crunchy and tasty. Overall, I thought it was quite delicious!
The Paccheri Tricolore with ancient grains paccheri pasta, tomato, burrata, pistachio cream, chopped pistachios reminded us of the true taste of simple homemade tomato sauce pasta that we used to eat in Italy. The added burrata further enriched the flavour and added a creamy texture to the dish.
The Tonno e Pistacchi with chickpea and durum wheat rigatoni, pistachio cream, Mediterranean tuna, chopped pistachios were a rather interesting chef’s elaboration of traditional pasta. The pairing of tuna fish and fresh cheese seemed odd, but the taste was good.
Finally, the Zucca e Ricotta butternut squash ravioli topped with ricotta and chopped pistachios combined the sweet taste of butternut squash with nuts and burrata cheese.
A glass of house wine (you can choose between the glass, 1/2 or full carafe) was the perfect accompaniment for all the pasta we tasted at miscusi.
To finish off our Italian adventure, we chose seasonal crostata for a dessert and a classic espresso. Other sweet options include Torta della Nonna (a classic tart with custard cream and pine nuts), a lactose free chocolate cake, gelato and tiramisù.
We enjoyed the meals at miscusi, the pasta portions are definitely abundant, the quality of the food is good and great bang for the buck! The prices for the pasta dishes start from around £9, which makes miscusi a perfect place for quick walk-in lunch during the busy working week, or even for a more lively group lunch.
You can expect traditional flavours from classic Italian cuisine, as well as different takes by the chef and, if you really feel creative, you can even pick your own type of pasta, the sauce and order a dish that’s completely bespoke!
Words and photos by Elena Kryvunda
Disclaimer: Elena was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.