Tuesday 7 July 2015

Restaurant Review - Piccolino, Exchange Square, London

Broadgate Circle in the City  - the financial heart of London – has been redeveloped and recently reopened, with a host of bars and restaurants. I walk past on my way to the gym and it’s always buzzing – last week I even saw Adam Richman from the US television show Man vs. Food filming a segment there.
A colleague of mine was in London for the day so we decided to go for a team lunch, and I thought it was a good opportunity to try one of the new places in Broadgate circle. I had a look at the Broadgate circle website and from the list of restaurants chose Piccolino, an Italian restaurant that I thought would appeal to everyone. It was only after I booked it and checked the address that I found the restaurant was actually in Exchange Square – the website I’d been on was for the general Broadgate area and in fact Piccolino was nearly half a kilometre away. Not far, but a key difference and not actually part of the plaza I wanted to go to!

Even so, Exchange Square is lovely – and very busy – in summer. There are restaurants and bars with outside areas, a fountain and plenty of grass and steps for people to picnic; and on the day I was there, a big screen showing the tennis and a Lurpak van giving away free sandwich samples. Piccolino has outdoor seating but as we were a large group we were seated inside.
It’s quite upmarket for a lunch choice – probably aimed at the business lunch crowd rather than colleagues catching up – but the menu isn’t all expensive. There are plenty of pizzas and pasta dishes around the £10-£12 mark, and I was going to have linguine until I remembered that due to some not great diary planning, I was having dinner out with a friend at a Thai place that evening and would probably be eating noodles. I love fish, so when someone announced he was having the roast cod, I was tempted and decided to do the same. It was described on the menu as “roast cod, spicy sausage, broccoli, chilli and garlic” – a large piece of cod, surrounded by a few thin discs of chorizo, several pieces of tenderstem broccoli, and I assume the chilli and garlic was in the oil as I couldn’t particularly taste it. It wasn’t cheap at £19.50 but was excellent, and benefited from the addition of a side order of roasted potatoes.

I think that next time we go out for lunch we will probably go somewhere a bit more informal but it was very enjoyable and I recommend this restaurant if you are in the area.

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