Tasty Italian Fare at Noci in Richmond

Monday 17th Jun 2024 |

The beautiful borough of Richmond is home to London’s largest park. It’s also the only London borough on both sides of the river with the oldest surviving bridge in London, built in 1777.

The view from Richmond Hill is legendary and has been painted many times, most notably by JMW Turner. Richmond is a highly desirable place to live and has been home to many celebrities, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Mick Jagger, Mo Farrah and Sienna Miller.

As well as the many riverfront establishments, there’s a village-style green with a couple of pubs and, of course, plenty of retail therapy opportunities. It’s a little piece of paradise that’s easily accessible by bus, train or tube with a different feel to most other places in London. And it’s now even better with the recent opening of new restaurant Noci on Richmond Hill.

Noci Richmond is one of four in the group spread across London. The chefs take inspiration from their heritage and travels across Italy and the menu offers a tasty selection of salads, meat dishes and, of course, pasta. There’s also a selection of cocktails reflecting the spirit of Italy so it seemed appropriate to sample a couple. An Aperol spritz and Negroni in perfectly matching shades of red and orange were delivered and enjoyed with relish.

On to the menu. My eyes were immediately drawn to the last starter on the list – vitello tonnato. Now this is my absolute favourite starter in the world – yes, in the world. Thinly sliced rare veal served with a tuna dressing and crispy capers. It sounds like a weird combination, but honestly, it’s truly heavenly. My dining companion opted for the courgette scapece – Neopolitan friend courgette in a dressing of vinegar, chilli, garlic and mint. Never have courgettes tasted so good – zesty and spicy. What a great start.

There are a range of tasty-sounding pasta dishes to choose from for mains. I decided to try a vegetarian offering, described as silk handkerchiefs with sauteed leeks, mint, peas, walnuts and a confit egg yolk. The handkerchiefs of pasta were really silky and all the fresh ingredients were perfectly brought together by the richness of that confit egg yolk. Highly satisfying.

The veal and pork Genovese ragu was served with paccheri (pasta in the shape of a very large tube) and Monk’s Head cheese. Now this is a bit of a ceremonial serving which is worth witnessing. The savoury, nutty cheese is brought to the table and carved into little florets with a special tool to top the creamy, slightly sweet ragu (it has no tomato you see). Not only a delicious lunch but we learnt something too. and tasted some fabulous new ingredients.

For dessert we couldn’t resist a refreshing sorbet – well two scoops to be accurate. The raspberry and lemon flavours were just what we needed to complete our delightful lunch at Noci in lovely Richmond. Another reason to visit more regularly.

www.nocirestaurant.co.uk

Words by Sandy Cadiz-Smith