Pescheria Mattiucci, W11 1NN

Pescheria Mattiucci is a specialist Italian fishmongers which also doubles as a restaurant. They sell fresh line-caught fish from the sea around Southern Italy (which also forms the basis of their menu) and some Italian groceries.

The venue is austerely and cheerfully decorated, with blue plastic barrels and tall chairs around the walls providing most of the seating photo. In the evening, the empty fish counters are also reused as tables photo, which is more suitable for a larger group than the wall seating. Access is step-free throughout and the toilet is not only a fully provisioned disabled toilet but one of the cleanest and most interestingly decorated photo that itsbruce has seen anywhere.The menu varies from day to day. There are no distinct main, side or starter dishes, although the staff recommend beginning with a plate of crudo (raw fish) and then having several of the selection of cooked fish dishes along with a vegetable plate.

On the February 2011 night that itsbruce and Jen first visited, the menu consisted of one vegetable plate (£12) and 6 cooked dishes (£10 or £15) in addition to the crudo (£15). Wines were available at £30 or £35 per bottle or £5 per glass. Having warned the staff about Jen's shellfish allergy (and endured a little homily about how many allergies are to impurities, not the actual foodstuff), we started with the crudo: raw portions of tuna fillet, tuna belly, sea bream fillet and cod tartare served on chopped raw vegetables (carrot in orange juice, fennel, salad leaves) with three different varieties of salt photo and a basket (actually a metal tin) of bread. This was a lovely dish, making the most of the fresh ingredients; the contrast between the tuna belly and fillet was enlightening and the salt set off the flavours very effectively.

After this, we had a loose "fish-cake" of anchovies and mashed potato and steamed monkfish wrapped around steamed vegetables and prawns, with the vegetable plate photo. The fish-cake was salty, lightly coated in breadcrumbs and greatly enjoyed by both despite Jen not being the biggest anchovy fan. The monkfish was nicely cooked, keeping its texture - but they forgot to remove the prawns, which could have been fatal. Luckily, on cutting it in two to share, a prawn fell out and we were alerted to their error. The waitress was extremely apologetic and a second, prawn-free version of the dish was provided for free.

The vegetable plate was amazing. Each of the portions was a classic example of simple, elegant Italian cooking; the artichokes (two varieties, one diced, one mashed, mixed together) and the spinach (puréed with pine nuts and garlic) were particularly good but all of them were excellent.

While none of the portions were tiny, none of them were overly generous. If it hadn't been for the free dish provided as a result of the near-fatal shellfish error, we would probably have wanted to order another dish.

To finish, we had a slice of cheesecake (delicately flavoured with almond and rosewater and really very good) and some flaky biscuits dusted with icing sugar and served with a small pot of bitter chocolate sauce photo. The final bill (including a bottle of Greco di Tufo at £30 but not including service) was £108.

Verdict: this is high quality, simple and elegant Italian cooking; it isn't cheap but for once the quality entirely justifies the price. itsbruce thinks it was the best meal he has had in the Notting Hill area. That said, the shellfish error was a very alarming one; anybody with a shellfish allergy should be prepared to make their situation very clear to the staff and be wary of what they are served.

Note: the opening hours listed here are when they serve meals. The opening hours on their website are their total business hours, including the times when they are only operating as a fishmongers.

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Last visited by itsbruce and Jen on 18 Feb 2011

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OS X co-ord: 524607 OS Y co-ord: 181192 (Latitude: 51.515409 Longitude: -0.203996)
Last edited 2016-06-20 12:35:59 (version 7; diff). List all versions.