Restaurant Review: Itaku London
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Restaurant Review: Itaku London

Cosy Box Cannes founder Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini debuts his London restaurant on Great Portland Street

London’s restaurant scene is back with a bang for 2022, with opening after opening setting the foodie crowd buzzing. The latest? Itaku is the most recent launch from celebrity restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, founder of famous Cannes pop-up Cosy Box. This Italian Japanese fusion venture is a collaboration with chef Ivan Simeoli, previously of The Royal Academy of Arts, The Wallace Collection and Michelin starred Osteria Francescana. But does this dynamic duo pull the ambitious fusion combination off?

Itaku London Review

Itaku’s quiet Great Portland Street location is apart from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring Mayfair, Soho and Marylebone. But once inside this cosy 55-cover restaurant is brought to life, largely thanks to a vibrant interior by Maria Morra and a superlative drinks offering curated by Nicholas Medicamento, previously bartender at The Savoy London. With themed specials and a Japanese-Italian motif, a cocktail menu packed with appealing and unique mixes and wine options to perfectly complement the food, Itaku is just as appealing for a drinks date as a dinner.

Itaku London menu

But dinner is a must, not least because this is a menu packed with unique and exciting flavour combinations. Chef Simeoli’s penchant for combining Italian and Japanese flavours really pays off, particularly with the ‘raw’ category, where fresh oysters served with sake and the Akami Pizzetta (Tuna Sashimi, Seasonal Truffle, Spicy Mayo, Spring Onion) are a great way to kick off your meal. It’s a little bit of a gear shift to the pasta course, where you’ll find a rich and satisfying octopus rigatoni puttanesca. On the meat secondi menu you can choose from Kagoshima Wagyu Sirloin and Spicy Miso Lamb Cutlets or a fish course including the perfectly balanced Wild Sea Bream with shiitake mushrooms and red cabbage.

THE FINAL WORD

If you’re looking for something different in the capital to challenge your tastebuds, a visit to Itaku is a must. The raw to pasta course transition is a little jarring, but be guided by the team to find combinations that really fly. Oh, and come ready to spend; portion sizes are small with dish prices averaging £20-£25.

Where?

110 Great Portland Street W1W 6PQ

BOOK:

itaku.co.uk

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