Swank Levels: 2/5
Soho is one of my favourite places to dine out as there are literally streets full of amazing restaurants to choose from. Mele e Pele however is not located on one of these popular dining streets. In addition to this there is something not quite right with Mele E Pele and it’s got a lot to do with the space.
The ground floor where diners enter is dimly lit with a few wooden high tables alongside a huge displays of glass apples and pears. This display allude to meaning of the restaurant name, but it would have fitted in much more in the downstairs space, which is a great deal larger and makes up for the lack of lighting upstairs with a collection of bright lights on bright colours.
When we arrived we were seated upstairs, which isn't the best place to eat considering the lack of both lighting and a restaurant atmosphere. However there were no customers in the downstairs space at all which is probably why they were hesitant to let diners sit down there alone.
Would I Want Seconds?
Ordering is simple due to the small menu. Starters included Tripe with Parmesan, Salumi with Rabbit Bruschetta and Venetian Salt Cod.
In the pastas section they offer linguine with Sicilian Gambero, Tagiatelle with Beef-cheek Ragu, and Artichoke Risotto and main courses also include Calves' Liver alla Veneziana, Bistecca alla Fiorentina and Grilled Plaice.
|My starter: Finocchiona Salame, Gnocchi Fritti and Parmesan|
In this way the menu is immensely Italian and there is very little that the casual diner will recognise. There is no standard Italian comfort food, instead diners will find octopus, razor clams and snails served in their shells as main dishes here.
For dessert the ice creams are definitely worth a try. The unique flavours include Callebaut Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Acacia Honey as well as Amalfi Lemon, Blackberry, Alphonso Mango.
Can I Afford Seconds?
We opted for the Pre-Theatre Menu in which two courses were £16.50 or three courses for £19.50. This is definitely the cheaper option as the main courses from the a la carte menu can cost between £15 to £25. I class this as expensive for a meal where there is limited choice to order from and one in which there were hardly any wholesome Italian dishes.
The sharing plates are more affordable however, as they general cost between £3 to £5 and the must try ice creams are a much more pocket friendly £2.50 a scoop.
Rhubarb Ice Cream Dessert
Mele E Pele is different sort of Italian restaurant, and this is probably why there has been much hype about it. However, unless diners are looking for a challenging and unique meal I wouldn't recommend Mele e Pele.