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Restaurant Review: Bella Cosa, London

213 Marsh Wall, London
Cuisine: Italian
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Ashleigh Togher: Pretty much every table can bask in the river and shining cityscape as their view… a most desirable backdrop for aperitifs in the City.
 
A pristine oasis amongst the cement and glass towers of London’s Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, once inside, Bella Cosa provides an elegant escape from the fast-pace, angular surrounding aesthetic. In here, it’s all soft light and subtle interiors, and attentive but unassuming service to match. Though they do, thrillingly, make the most of the locale – pretty much every table can bask in the river and shining cityscape as their view… a most desirable backdrop for aperitifs in the City.
 
But the view is certainly not the only draw for diners. The beguiling creations of  Michelin-trained chef Kentaro Torii provide an exciting pull for those fatigued by the many samey interpretations of “modern Italian”.
 
Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan and having cut his teeth in Florence, Italy, Kentaro’s approach – informed by his background, training and intuition – is certainly distinct.
 
Kentaro’s Japanese roots and fascination with Italy result in a food best
described as modern Italian through a Japanese lens. The Japanese influence is generally subtle, harnessed in delicate presentation and the composition of ingredients, while the flavour is firmly European.
 
Dinner with paired wines was faultless, and, often, a spectacle on the plate – like Kentaro’s sprawling seafood carpaccio of mackerel, octopus, kingfish, prawn, anchovy, oscietra caviar, salmon roe and lemon purée, or his texture-rich and highly Japanese-influenced dessert of white chocolate (soft ganache and powder), strawberries (compote, purée and fresh), green-tea powder and candied rose petals.
 
But I found myself most attracted to a starter of scallop topped with lardo and a perfect, generous shaving of black truffle… a dish
representative of perhaps the finest attributes of Italian and Japanese cooking, respectively – simplicity and precision.
 
Ashleigh dined as a guest of Bella Cosa
www.bellacosarestaurant.com
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17 February 2017
By: Ashleigh Togher
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