Review: Osteria at the Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre

On a quiet Thursday evening, we made our way to the notorious Italian restaurant in the heart of the Barbican Centre.

The unassuming eatery caters perfectly to theatre or gig-goers as it opens and closes its doors before the first curtain call even rings. So, after hearing only good things about the place, we sat down for a very early dinner – 5.30pm to be exact.

news londonDespite the restaurant opening early, we were still the first eager diners to grace Osteria that evening. This was even more noticeable as we were kindly guided to our small table at the far end of the restaurant.

However, we soon realised why we had this spot, as we overlooked the glistening water feature in the Barbican estate as it twinkled in the night’s sky. With jolly elevator music filling the room, so did the rest of the evening’s diners, and we started to feel at ease and less exposed as the only people in the room.

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The menu is light and simple, yet bursting with flavour and colour. We started with the baked figs stuffed with robiola cheese and covered in delicate frisee lettuce. Almost too dainty to eat, the delicious starter was a delight.

The sweet juices of the fruit balanced the sharper tang of the blue cheese perfectly and it did not overpower the plate. A great introduction to the menu.

For our main, we chose the pan fried Stone bass with potato rosti and fennel cream. Cooked to perfection, the fish was fluffy and light. Paired with a glass of white wine, the main course was a modern take on a simple dish. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would have it again in a heartbeat.

london magazine

We finished the meal with the Amalfi lemon sorbet with meringue and persimmon. The sorbet was incredibly tart and felt more like a palate cleanser, but it fitted harmoniously with the persimmon and sweet meringue.

Despite being very full, the dessert rounded off the evening incredibly well and continued to think about it for the rest of the night.

Highly recommended Osteria for delicious and elegant Italian cuisine. We just wish we had booked to see a performance at the Barbican Centre to continue a wonderful evening.


Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

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