Italian Indulgence at Theo Randall at The Intercontinental Park Lane

There’s something so exciting about a restaurant re-launch; a London institution that’s had a total redecoration and a brand new menu. There’s something amazing about the shiny, new venue in an iconic hotel and famous restaurant that’s too much to resist for me, so when Angie asked if I’d like to try the newly re-opened Theo Randall at The Intercontinental Hotel  there was only really one answer!

As I was a little early (I mean some things really are never going to change) I had a chance to appreciate the bright and airy decor before Angie arrived. I loved the clean look and the bright, friendly atmosphere. It already felt like a great venue for a ladies dinner.

As we chatted away and perused the menu, our waitress brought over some classic Italian rosemary and salt foccacia as well as delicious bruschetta. Angie had promised me that the last time she had visited that the bread really was excellent – and it certainly lived up to expectations!
I loved the salty foccacia in particular and was quite sad when it ended!

The next delight to arrive at our table were these courgette fritti: courgettes deep fried in wonderfully light batter. I was really pleased to taste that these weren’t greasy at all. In fact, they were so moreish that we eventually had to ask the waitress to take them away as we worried we wouldn’t eat our main meals!

Dinners with Angie usually mean lots of fish dishes, and this evening was no exception. We shared two starters, the first of which was Devon crab, fennel and dandelion. A really delicate dish full of simple, elegant flavours; it made a great start to our meal.

Scallops are always an excellent choice in my book and I couldn’t resist suggesting that we ordered the scallops with kale, chilli and polenta.

Huge, plump scallops were presented to us and we knew we had made a good choice. The scallops are some of the most generous I’ve seen in a restaurant recently, which really impressed me. Though I did wish that there had been a little extra chilli in the dish as I love a spicy kick with scallops.

Theo Randall is well known for being the pasta king – so it would have been entirely wrong not to enjoy one of his signature dishes. After quite a lot of indecision we opted for the fresh tagliatelle with clams, sea bass, prawns and mussels in a tomato, parsley and white wine sauce.

A beautifully presented dish that had thoughtfully been divided into to separate, smaller dishes to stop us fighting over every last morsel! The fish itself was perfect though I do prefer my pasta a little more al dente.

Our final savoury dish of the evening was turbot with artichokes – a dish that we (mistakenly) nearly didn’t order! As always, deferring to Angie when it came to menu choices was a winner and I’m so glad that we ordered this dish. 

The fish itself fell off the bone and had such an exquisite, delicate texture that I really was blown away. Even though I’m not usually a fan of capers, these really brought out the salty flavour of the dish and I really loved it.

Not quite content for the evening – yet – we ordered a sharing platter of desserts. Affogato, vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso, is my favourite, and the staff kindly swapped one of the sweets on the platter so that I could indulge in an old treat! In fact, I think I also managed to convert Angie!

The chocolate fudge cake was hugely indulgent – so much so that neither Angie nor I could manage much of it; it’s definitely a dessert to be shared.

But we both loved the Amalfi lemon tart, which had the perfect balance of bitter and sweet for a dessert and it was soon polished off.

Finally, we tasted the ricotta cheesecake with pear, which I have to admit I was a little too full for at this point. But that’s the beauty of dessert platters isn’t it? A little bit of everything for everyone!

A perfect spot for a little Italian indulgence in heart of Mayfair whether you’re looking for a casual dinner with friends, or a spur of the moment lunch.

Theo Randall
Intercontinental London Park Lane
One Hamilton Place
Park Lane

020 7318 8747

Our meal was complimentary.

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