An affordable yet delicious Italian restaurant in central London seem like a distant dream. The River Cafe has amazing food and a Michelin star but a plate of pasta will set you back £18 and the secondi are all above £35. Zafferano and Apsleys at Knightsbridge are the same, top quality food with heavy price tags. A £40 shop priced wine can easily be marked up to £160. The only reasonable Italian I’ve tried is Zucca, serving a combination of modern and traditional dishes at £35pp for 3 courses. Sadly that’s too far for those living on the west like me. Luckily, Hungry in London recommended Tinello, which offers fashionable, delicious yet affordable Italian food in the heart of Chelsea.
Located on Pimlico road, Tinello is surrounded by mediocre and posh restaurants like Hunan and La Poule au Pot, both very expensive but I guess suitable for Chelsea prices. Compared to these established restaurants, Tinello was like a breath of fresh air. The modern and trendy deco offers romantically dimmed lights for dinner and an attractive menu combining small eats and traditional dishes. The restaurant is very busy at all times so good to book in advance.
All the dishes are listed on a one pager A3, including antipasti, small eats, pasta and secondi. You can order a selection of dishes from ‘small eats’ to share, then go for a pasta or meat main. The ‘small eats’ start from £2 to £8, pasta from £10 to £15 and the second piatti offers a good selection of fish dishes from £16 to £26.
Burrata e pane al pomodoro - burrata cheese and tomato bread
The tomato spread made the bread look like melon but it delivered the flavour and freshness as a small plate starter.
Prosciutto toscano e melone - Tuscan ham and melon
Melon and ham is such a classic combination with delicate sweet and savoury flavours, thoroughly enjoyable.
Spaghetti de Graganano ai gamberi de Mazara del Vallo - Spaghetti, Sicilian prawns, chilli, garlic and tomato sauce
This was one of the best pastas I’ve tried in London. As soon as it arrived I could smell the flavours of the sea. The pasta was perfectly al dente with a great tomato sauce that was bursting with flavours.
Ravioli di zucchine trombette, ricotta e origano - Liguarian courgettes, ricotta and oregano ravioli
An equally delicious plate of pasta with the perfect amount of ricotta so not overwhelmingly cheesy.
Very good tiramisu too, you have to dig through all the layers to get the full flavour.
Verdict - 4/5
Food (one of the best Italians) - located in the heart of Chelsea, Tinello brings affordable yet delicious Italian dishes to the trendy locals. The combination of traditional 3 course and small plates means everyone can share more dishes together. The spaghetti was one of the best I’ve tried in London, I definitely recommend everyone to try!
Service (very good) - service was very attentive and dishes all came fast without wait. The restaurant is trendy and modern but still friendly. A great place to go regularly if you live in the area but make sure to book as it gets very busy during dinner times.
Cost (35pp) - very good prices for the Kensington/Chelsea area.
87 Pimlico Road
London SW1W 8PH
020 7730 3663