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Kitchen Italia (Restaurant)

Picture of Kitchen Italia in Shepherds Bush, London

Westfield London Shopping Centre, Southern Terrace, Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 7SH
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 8749 9133 | Email to Kitchen Italia | | Transport: Shepherd's Bush (Central) | Write review

Kitchen Italia Review

For hundreds of years, pencils and erasers were two separate items. This meant that, for hundreds of years, every mistake made with the former required people to reach into their pencil cases for the latter, often only to recall with frustration that they had lost it, left it elsewhere, or lent it to some unscrupulous wag who had never returned it.

Then in 1858, tired of finding himself eraser-less and resorting to rubbing his pencilled mistakes fruitlessly with a moistened finger-tip in an attempt to amend the error, American Hyman Lipman stuck a small eraser at the end of his pencil and made stationery history. Though not an innovation that is likely to have been life-changing for anyone other than Lipman, it has still proved hugely convenient for millions, and is so simple that the most amazing thing about it is that no one thought of it sooner.

Kitchen Italia, squatting neatly under the southern edge of the monstrous Westfield shopping centre, is also a why-hasn’t-anyone-done-this-before idea. While all other Italian restaurants – even high-street pizza chains (if you can call them ‘Italian’, or even ‘restaurants’ judging by the swill they often serve) – remain wedded to the traditional dining experience of low lighting and individual tables occasionally garnished with a forlorn-looking flower, Kitchen Italia has completely thrown out that rule book. Instead, pristine white walls and eccentric light fittings provide a light, airy environment, a feel emphasised by the open view through to the kitchen.

Customers sit together on benches fitted to the long communal tables that traverse the room, each pre-dressed with black pepper mills, basil plants, oregano pots, olive oil and neat little parmesan graters. One table is additionally adorned by three laptops with free Wi-Fi (there were four until one reacted badly to the chicken and basil soup).

The menu is varied and cheap – just about the cheapest you can find anywhere in West London without being asked if you would like ‘fries with that’ – while a list of specials and a guide to different pasta types decorate the paper place mats. In short, Kitchen Italia is effectively an Italian Wagamama – a ‘Wagamama-mia’ if you will – and given the huge success of that chain, it is amazing that no restaurateur has already thought to provide a similar dining experience for those who prefer their cuisine continental rather than oriental.

As with the afore-mentioned noodle chain, the quality of food is almost incidental to the Kitchen Italia experience. It’s ‘nice enough’ is all most visitors will need to know – not as good as somewhere like Getti, but better that the ‘put tomatoes, garlic and five times your RDA of salt in a blender and call it ragu’ approach of places like Bella Pasta. It is also considerably cheaper than both.

With no starters listed, we ordered some side dishes as appetisers. I began with fried breadsticks and a spicy tomato dip – quite a surprise considering I actually ordered the hot anchovy sauce as accompaniment. When the correct sauce did arrive, looking cute in its own miniature cauldron, it tasted scarcely more of anchovy than the tomato dip, and was far too runny to work with the oily bread sticks.

For our mains I had a hugely generous portion of polenta and ragu swamping a somewhat stingier quantity of boar. My partner’s equally plentiful spaghetti carbonara was perfectly done in its simplicity. For dessert, Kitchen Italia’s trademark chocolate ravioli stole the show.

Ultimately - though only the desserts would sit comfortably alongside offerings from more prestigious restaurants - Kitchen Italia still provides all you need from a diner like this: quick, cheap, decent food. It’s perfectly situated and designed for people fuelling up for a day’s shopping (breakfast is available from 9am), breaking up their expedition with a quick lunch, or rounding off their outing with a meal cheap enough to offset the day’s expenditure. The atmosphere was very pleasant and the staff were friendly enough that we could happily forgive them for the odd order muddling. After all, I reasoned, everybody makes mistakes – that’s why some bright spark put erasers on the end of a pencil.
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Customer Reviews for Kitchen Italia

Average (based on 4 votes): 4 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Kitchen Italia.

“This is definitely going to become my regular lunch spot when visiting Westfield. Great concept, great food and brilliant value. The highest praise was from my kids - they ate every mouthful and the staff were genuinely friendly and helpful towards them. Top dishes were the malfaldine & sausage and the crispy break sticks. Be prepared that food comes as soon as ready from kitchen so dishes arrive at different times. We'll be back!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Alex, Chalfont St Peter (8 years 8 months 13 days ago)

“Really neat, original restaurant. Not the best food but very quick and cheap for after a good long shopping spree at Westfield!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Angela, Highbury (8 years 8 months 14 days ago)

“We thought this please was excellent and I had one of the best spaghetti and meatballs I've had. I've got a craving!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
genevieve hargreaves, london (9 years 6 months 6 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Kitchen Italia

“I want to give this 1 star but i feel that this would be unfair but I had an awful time here, but the company I was with saved it from getting the 1 star. We were literally served by 5 different people, throughout our meal. We knew we were in for an interesting night when our first waiter told my friend to 'hang on a minute' while he took my order. We wanted garlic bread and were told that they had run out, but were not offered an alternative. The finale was when they gave us the wrong tables bill. So was the food good? It was ok, not very italian, it felt like another restaurant chain......”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
[ Unknown ], London (9 years 10 months 16 days ago)

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Venue ID: 19697

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