Review – Masaniello – Twickenham, London
There are a few Italian restaurants in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames but many of them are ’Pizza/Pasta’ conglomerates. Having been a regular haunt of mine a few years ago it was with a willing palate and drooling tastebuds that I found myself at Masaniello in Twickenham on what I presumed would be a quiet Monday night. I was intrigued to find out if it was as good as I remembered.
I used to eat regularly at the Cafe that was onsite years ago. It was my secret. People thought it was just a regular cafe but little did they know that the food was something special. 4 years ago new business partners Livio Te and Maria D’Errico came together and refurbished the Cafe and like a phoenix from the ashes ‘Masaniello’ was born.
The restaurant prides itself on serving diners a taste of Napoli and has recently been given an award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce for being an authentically Neapolitan restaurant. Few places outside of Italy have been given this prestigious award.
Being a seafood lover I ordered the king scallops to start and the fish of the day for my main. The scallops were to die for. Meltingly soft (who needs a knife?) and perfectly, pearly cooked. The pan-fried vegetables and honey and balsamic vinegar were a great accompaniment. The fish main could come as on the menu or cooked to your liking, just let your server know. It was fresh, meaty and delicious (although I’m not a fan of skin on the fish). I was pleased to note that the seafood comes from Sandy’s in Twickenham. Great to see restaurants supporting local businesses. From now on I shall be getting ALL my seafood from Sandy’s, the quality was excellent.
Although as you may guess I am biased in my love of seafood dishes, I was pleased to see traditional methods and recipes being used in the pasta and pizza dishes. The menu choice was intrigingly varied and I wanted to try it all. All types of dietary needs are catered for whether you’re a meat-lover, vegetarian or require gluten-free (on request). If I could have sampled it all I would definetly have tried the roasted duck leg, veal escallopes or sirloin steak with truffle cream and pepper crust. The menus are changed with each season so you’re sure to have something new to try with each visit.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is warm and ambient with muted, modern Italian music in the background. Although it was a Monday it seems in a time of recession Masienello can hold its own. The diners were varied from couples to business men to families. It was a great eclectic mix where everyone merged to make a lovely place to spend some time and enjoy quality food. I was also pleased to see that wine was opened at my table. Is it just me or do restaurants just not tend to do this anymore? Service was very friendly and attentive but not invasive and I really did feel like I was part of a lovely, big Italian family. (Ok, I felt rather special then I saw that’s how they make everyone feel lol)
It seems that I am not the only one to sing the praises of Masaniello. You have all been voting in your numbers to make this place the number 1 restaurant for the area on TripAdvisor! So if you’re wondering if Masaniello lives up to the hype there is just one answer – yes. For a taste of authentic Italian cuisine, get yourself down to Church St in Twickenham quick smart before everyone else does too!