By now you’ve probably taken a peek at the shiny new surroundings over at Battersea Power Station. The flashy redevelopment on the South Bank of the River Thames includes high-end shops, salons and a seriously luxe art’otel. Complete with the grand opening of its train station, it’s fair to say this area has been given a glow-up, but the question is: will the restaurants dazzle as well? We popped into the all-day Italian dining den TOZI Grand Café to see what the fuss was all about.
The appropriately titled eatery maintains plenty of Mediterranean character, which it deserves a pat on the back for, considering the sheer size of the venue. Credit for that successful blend must go to designer Jaime Hayon. Flaunting flamboyant Spanish designs surrounding the perimeter of the restaurant, there is plenty to gaze at while you sip on your aperitivo.
And that's exactly what we did. Although the intimate setting of a booth did seem appealing, the seats in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows that greet your arrival won us over. We indulged in a punchy negroni sbagliato with prosecco (£12.50) – thanks Emma D’Arcy – to kick off the meal and liven up a hump day as the sun set on Battersea Park Station.
After looking through its expansive menu, we landed on a selection of Italian cured meats (£18.50) plus a gorgeously creamy burrata, topped with black tomatoes, olives and basil (£10.75). That was our first course and because “When in Rome” and all that, there were another three to come. Our eating adventure continued with a generous portion of veal Milanese, marinated tomatoes and rocket (£26.50) as well as stonebass fregola lathered in a delicious salsa verde (£24.50). The meat was tender, and the fish was perfectly combed off the bone, so we were pretty chuffed about our choices.
Now, a word of warning. If you’ve saved room for a feast, a large pasta dish between two is ample, because you'll need try the famed desserts here, but we’ll get to that later. Wild boar pappardelle (£18.75) – a small is £12.50 in case you were wondering, was brought over to our gleeful faces and the beauty of this venue was evident in this dish.
The welcoming vibe to the venue was amplified by the knowledgeable staff who brought a couple of options from the wine menu for us to sample. We opted for a bottle of natural red, called Era Sangiovese Organic (£33) from Cantina Volpi. Although if you’re in the mood for a carafe of reasonably priced gorgeous white, maybe give the Amonte Cortese (£21) a try.
Now for that dolci. The tiramisu (£8.75) is the unofficial signature dessert here and we can see why. It comes in a round, delicate, fluffy tower with crushed pistachios on top and the dish certainly looked as delish as it tasted. After a few hours of authentic tastes of Italy, we basked in the atmosphere created by the mix of families, birthdays and dates going on around. For that holy combo of pasta and wine, you won’t get much better than this stylish, authentic spot.
The DesignMyNight Digest
TOZI Grand Café has a charming simplicity to its menu; the ingredients pack a punch and there are rich flavours with al dente pasta galore. And with such a complete Italian menu at your fingertips, you'll have plenty of delish dining options. So, whether you're popping in for an after-work small plate or fancy sticking around for three decadent courses, it’s is an eatery worth considering.
💰 The damage: Around £150 for two including dinner, cocktails and a bottle of wine.
📍 The location: 3A Electric Boulevard, Nine Elms, London SW11 8BJ.
👌 Perfect for: Date nights and after-work meals.
⭐ Need to know: These folks have an afternoon tea for £28 per person.