A taste of Park Lane glitz at Theo’s

Upmarket restaurant at five-star hotel has top-notch Italian cuisine

Friday, 9th July 2021 — By Tom Moggach

Cappelletti di Vitello with Truffle

Theo’s Cappelletti di Vitello with Truffle

WITH foreign holidays off the menu, it’s a rare chance to explore some exotic places closer to home.

This was my first visit to Theo’s at the InterContinental, for example, an upmarket Italian restaurant in unfamiliar territory – a five-star hotel in Park Lane.

The place has been trading for years with a stellar reputation but would normally be out of my league.

This summer, however, the restaurant is offering a special regional tasting menu: a four-course meal, complete with matching wines, for just £50 – a steal for food of this quality.

Head chef Theo Randall has lived in Camden for years and built his reputation at The River Café in Richmond, where the team received a Michelin star. That place is still going strong and helped launched many a career – from Jamie Oliver to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Theo’s restaurant also majors in top-notch Italian cuisine. The a la carte menu features dishes such as pan-fried cuttlefish with red chilli, parsley, anchovies and fresh Borlotti beans or a baked Delica squash with Fontina cheese soufflé.

We dressed up smart and strolled to the InterContinental London Park Lane through leafy Hyde Park, imagining ourselves somewhere – anywhere – far flung.

The venue itself is glitzy but in the smooth style of an international hotel. There are orchids and oodles of staff, all charming and highly attentive. The expensive décor is deliberately neutral, designed to shine from day into night.

For July’s tasting menu, the Veneto region gets star billing. First up, snacks of courgette fries and bruschetta followed by beef carpaccio with rocket and Asiago cheese – a classic combination.

The risotto was the best thing I have eaten in ages: a red-tinged bowl of oozy rich rice with shredded radicchio and Italian sausage, fragrant from a scattering of rosemary.

For the main, a Venetian fish stew swimming with chunks of sea bream, monkfish, clams, mussels and a whole king prawn split down the middle.

“Gigantic portions,” whispered my companion, in between spoonfuls of decadent tiramisu. “And much cheaper than The River Café.”

Next time, I will be exploring the encyclopaedic range of vermouths, which includes hard-to-find gems such as a Barolo Chinato and styles from The Jerry Thomas project, a speakeasy cocktail bar in Rome.

Back in Camden, Theo Randall also helped to design the menu at the new Bavarian-style Beer Hall at Camden Town Brewery – a much-expanded space under the railway arches by Kentish Town West.

Here you’ll find 24 taps of freshly brewed beers, including experimental batches not served elsewhere.

The food menu includes dishes such as burrata with roasted asparagus, porchetta with roasted fennel and a sharing plate of Datterini tomatoes with salsa verde.

Service was slightly chaotic when I visited for a pint during the soft launch. I’m intrigued by the menu. How many people crave an Amalfi lemon tart with their Belgian IPA?

Theo’s at the InterContinental
1 Hamilton Place,
Park Lane, W1J
020 73188747

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