Union Street Cafe Review: Homeboy and I ate a delicious lunch at the Union Street Cafe in December. I know I’m a bit behind writing this review, but it’s better late than never. If you want to find the best Italian restaurant in SE1 or eat at a Gordan Ramsey restaurant, you should check out this establishment.
“Head Chef Davide Degiovanni treats your taste buds to the best seasonal ingredients sourced from specially selected Italian artisan food producers,” Homegirl London
We’d meant to try this restaurant since we moved to the area two years ago. We were glad that we finally managed to do that because the meal was excellent. The service was professional, the food tasted exceptional, and the surroundings are very pleasing indeed. It’s the perfect restaurant for entertaining clients or a romantic meal with your loved one. If you work in the vicinity, you can kick back with your colleagues in the basement Olive Grove Bar.
Union Cafe Italian Lunch Menu
The menu will change with the seasons, so do check online before you visit. When we popped in for lunch, the al la carte menu offered a few nibbles to start with including Ricotta and Walnut Bruschetta and Potato Truffle Croquettes, both of which sounded tempting. The Antipasti selection also had great promise. Choose from Turnips with Pickled Walnuts, Pecorino and Truffle or traditional Veal Carpaccio with Tuna, Anchovies and Capers. We shared the Carcifoi which is Sardinian Artichokes served in a bowl with Radicchio, Pomegranate and Cacioricotta, which is a soft cheese. It was a beautiful dish, and the taste is one for the food memory bank, I would order this again.
Sardinian Artichokes with Radicchio, Pomegranate and Cacioricotta
We choose two Primi main dishes to share. The Open Raviolo with Buffalo Ricotta, Spinach, Hazelnuts and Truffle were outstanding. The pasta was utterly al dente and the filling a delight. It was gone rather quickly. The second dish was a creamy Risotto featuring Leeks, Bettlematt (Italian Semi-Soft Cheese) and Autumn Truffle. It was another delicious dish and again, devoured within a couple of minutes.
Risotto with Leeks, Bettlematt and Autumn Truffle
Other pasta dishes included Rigatoni with Venison Ragu and Spaghetti with Mussels and Turnip Tops. If you’re not in the mood for pasta try something like the Trout with Broad Beans, Monkfish with Lentil Puree, Guinea Foul with Pumpkin or Ox Cheeks with Brussels Sprouts (it was December). Add a couple of sides. We choose the Cauliflower Fritti with Cheese Fondue. The Cornish Potatoes with Truffle is another to consider.
Cauliflower Fritti with Cheese Fondue
We didn’t go crazy on our main dishes because we wanted to leave a little room for dessert. After tasting the Union Street Cafe Tiramisu, we were glad we had. The caramelised peanuts and hazelnuts combined with the sweet tiramisu, was heavenly. All the desserts sounded tempting from the Torta Peanut Cake to the Pannacotta with Bay Leaf, Pear and Rum.
Union Street Cafe Tiramisu
I thought that overall, the menu was first class. It offered the best seasonal ingredients and a concise list of thoughtful dishes. There was enough to satisfy vegetarians, meat-eaters and fish eaters. The prices points are on the expensive side but worth it for the ingredients and restaurant interiors. Antipasti cost £7-10, Primi £15-20, Secondi ££24-26 and Desserts cost £7-9.
Union Street Cafe Interiors
The restaurant occupies an ample space (previously a warehouse) on the corner of Union Street and Great Suffolk Street. The interiors are in a laid back luxe style. Think concrete floors, exposed air con pipes and distressed walls. It’s a comfortable and buzzy place to eat lunch or dinner. The kitchen is towards the back on a platform overlooking the dining area. Downstairs you will find the Olive Grove Bar which has a canopy of olive trees.
Union Street Cafe Information
To find out more about the restaurant, go to the Union Street Cafe Website. The address is 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BS. The nearest stations are Southwark, Waterloo, Waterloo East and Borough. Please check online for up to date opening times. If you want to explore the area more read my Ten Unusual Things To Do In Bankside and Ten Tourist Things To Do In Bankside features. Enjoy your Italian meal!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me.