I was so excited to be invited today by the famed chef Theo Randall, to attend his pasta making masterclass and to try out his new four course brunch menu at Theo’s Simple Italian in Kensington.
The new 4 course brunch will start from September 24th 2016 and will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant was in a super stylish boutique hotel called Hotel Indigo.
Being an Interiors blogger, I couldn’t help but photograph the hotel’s design elements, such as these quirky cool lights on the ceiling of the lobby. I adored the interior of the restaurant.
Marble, leather and a bit of metal bling, are always a sure winner, for creating an elegant space.
Love those padded green leather seats, set against those patterned wood panelled walls. I was thrilled to be greeted by a tall and chilled glass of peach Bellini. It was so good.
The last time I had peach Bellini was at Harry’s Bar in Venice and this reminded me of my holidays in Italy. Introducing you Theo Randall, our host for the day.
Theo started his career at The River Café for 17 years, he later set off on his own to open his first restaurant ‘Theo Randall at the InterContinental’ in 2006.
Since then, Theo has won numerous awards, including being named the Best Italian Restaurant of The Year from the London Restaurant Awards.
He has also successfully published 2 cookbooks, My Simple Italian and PASTA. Theo taught us how to make Ravioli.
You’ll notice that the pasta he used was very yellow, that’s because it consisted predominantly of egg yolks. 20 egg yolks per kilo of pasta.
Theo said that the yolks gave that all important dense texture for good pasta. The yolks were so yellow because they were laid from chickens fed with corn and carrots.
The pasta was put through a pasta machine.Theo explained that this was called ‘proving the pasta’ , which made the glutens much stiffer, and so the pasta into that desired tough and elasticated texture.
Once the pasta had been rolled through the proving machine a few times, the sheets were laid on the table. Ricotta filling was then squeezed onto the pasta surface, spaced out regularly, using an icing bag.
Water was then dabbed on the pasta above, below and on either sides of the filling using a finger.
The pasta was then folded over the filling, and sealed by pressing on either sides and over the top to form little parcels.
With a Ravioli cutter, individual parcels were cut out. Theo advised to let these parcels dry out for about half an hour before cooking. I was attending the event with a group of bloggers. After the masterclass, we sat down for the highly anticipated meal, created by Theo and cooked by his head chef, Fabio. Check out this delicious sharing antipasti plate filled with Italian classics such as Buffalo Mozzarella, marinated Artichokes, prosciutto di Parma and more. These bruschetta with olive oil and the sweetest of vine tomatoes made me go back for more. Here’s the ravioli with ricotta and rocket that Theo made earlier. It was cooked in a Sage butter sauce and seasoned to perfection. This is one of Theo’s signature dish called Pappardelle con ragù di manzo, which is fresh pasta with slow cooked beef in Chianti and San Marzano tomatoes, cooked for 6 hours.
It was so rich in flavour and the pasta was the most perfect al dente. I can see this as my perfect Winter comfort food. This is the Pescatora pasta dish, with lobster stock, clams, sea bass, tomatoes, chillies and parsley. Doesn’t it just look so colourful?
The stock and seafood has really infused into the pasta for that real savoury and mild chilli kick. Am I tempting you? I think I’m making myself hungry, as I write this too. This is the grilled sea bass flavoured with vegetables and olives, that we had for the main course. and this was the most tender of pork with mushrooms. For desserts we had this beautiful Tiramisu, This delectable cheesecake was light and so ‘melt in the mouth’ delicious.
The lemon tart in the far of the picture, was packed with that all required citrus punch that makes the perfect lemon tart.
All in all, the food was just amazing, in a beautiful setting. It was so lovely to meet Theo too in real life. He was really friendly and despite his fame, very down to earth.
I’m currently planning my husband’s birthday party for early next year and now seriously thinking of booking up this restaurant.
Do try Theo’s Simple Italian, I highly recommend it. From the 24th September 2016, their new 4 course weekend brunch menu as above will start. The menu will focus on Italian style sharing. The antipasti dish will be served to share, before individual Primi and Secondi courses are served, followed by a sharing platter of desserts. The price for the 4 courses, which includes a glass of prosecco is only £35 per person.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and I will be back tomorrow with another blog post that involves Paris and a super cool new phone with an amazing camera.
( All photos are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell, with the exception of Theo’s photo which was from his website.)