It’s rather exciting making your way to Fiume, the Calabrian-inspired riverside restaurant located in the heart of the new Battersea Power Station development. The area is pegged to become a unique residential and social hub in south-west London and with the iconic chimneys lit up at night like a gargantuan urban art installation, it certainly feels like its getting a new lease of life.
Fiume, which means ‘river’, is one of the first restaurants to open around the development and occupies a prime spot right on the Thames. On a Thursday evening it’s attracted a well-heeled, relaxed crowd and its rosemary and lavender-scented terrace will no doubt prove even more popular with patrons this summer. For now, cosy blankets cocoon customers who fancy a glass alfresco by the river.
Inside, we are in good company – the restaurant design was overseen by the same studio behind Hawksmoor and Dishoom. It’s smart, well-spaced, slick and sophisticated, with brass accents and an open kitchen pass that brings diners right in on the action. After an aperitvo at the flamed black granite bar, we move to the cosier dining sofa seating and begin with a plate from the tempting cicchetti menu – divine cod croquettes with Calabrian chilli jam and sizzled sage leaf.
Fiume is the latest venture from Francesco Mazzei, of Savile Row’s Sartoria fame, and pays homage to the Mezzogiorno, the southern ‘boot’ of Italy that Calabrian native Mazzei holds dear. Our antipasti arrive – a plump oozing burrata and a delicate crab salad that both showcase the ingredients at their best. The neat selection of pasta dishes are not to be missed and my guest’s burrata tortelli with hazelnuts and in a velvety sage butter is a triumph. Carb lovers, you now know where to come. I opt for the lamb scottadito from the Secondi dishes and the juicy charred lamb chops are so succulent and tasty, bone nibbling is a must. It’s hard to pick between the pasta and meat dishes, so upon our return we’ll follow Italian tradition and order both.
It’s great to see a restaurant just get things right. Service is attentive, the venue is the right side of smart casual and the menu faithful to a region bursting with flavour and rapturous ingredients. Fiume will likely go from strength to strength, especially as the redevelopment gathers momentum and takes shape. So take a walk along the river and stop in – you won’t regret it.
Fiume, Circus West, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN