- Location: Little Sicily, 36-40 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DW (nearest stations are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus)
- Date of Visit: Friday 19th October 2012
- Time of Table: 7.00pm
- Deal Bought From: Groupon
- Deal Price: £29 for Two
- Dinner Companion: Twin sister, Jess
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Three Course Sicilian Meal (Starters, Mains and Dessert)
- Bottle of White or Red Wine
- For Two people
What we ate…
- Starter: Beef Carpaccio
- Main: Polpettine alla Siciliana (Meatballs and Linguine)
- Dessert: Homemade Tiramisu
- Starter: Sicilian Stuffed Peppers
- Main: Polla alla Diavola (Spicy Chicken and Spaghetti)
- Dessert: Chocolate Fondant with Pistachio Ice Cream
What we drank…
- Sollazzo Trebbiano Grechetto (Italian White)
- Two Cappuccinos – not included in offer
What did we think?
Emerging from Leicester Square tube station amid the fluorescently happy bright lights of crowded casinos and famed theatres set the perfect party tone for a delicious night out. Little Sicily, set down a side street leading off the main square of restaurant chains and box offices is definitely snuggled away and not necessarily somewhere you would stumble across, on your mission for dinner.
Hurrying in from the rain, my first impressions were good ones – a long polished wooden bar scaled one whole side of the room with traditional bar stool settings and some tables set at the end of the narrow room. With white walls and stylishly polished dark wood, it wasn’t screaming Italian at you, but instead settled for its chic reputation. At first, you would assume the place was empty, as only a few of the bar stools were occupied but as we were being escorted to our table, upstairs, the very opposite was true, with people packed in wherever there was space. We were seated at one of those incredibly annoying yet space saving tables of two that has a sofa one side and chairs the other, with at least four tables aligned next to each other. We were so close, that the couple next to us decided to speak French instead of their native English that they were speaking when we arrived for fear of being overheard – as if I was interested! Luckily for us, the couples either side were on coffee so they soon left, allowing us a bit more personal space and freedom of speech.
We started by selecting our wine – a deliciously fruity yet not too tangy and dry Trebbiano, which the waitress kindly topped up as we slurped away. They also bring you tap water throughout the evening, going along the tables with a jug which is a really nice touch and not one you see too often.
Our courses arrived really promptly, kicking off with our starters. I decided to sample the beef carpaccio, which I have never really had before. I knew that it would be thinly sliced meat but that was about it. It was nice, served with a healthy dose of rocket, parmesan and half a cherry tomato. The only problem with it being so thin means you have to squash quite a bit on your fork to catch the flavour – or is that just me being greedy? It worked really well with the garnishes though and didn’t leave me overfull for my mains. Jess on the other hand went for a stuffed red pepper – normally presented as a vegetarian option that we avoid like plague. However, this one was stuffed with an intriguing mix of meats, topped with a tomato paste, and I admit to nicking quite a few forkfuls of this as it was so tasty.
We didn’t have to wait long for our main courses and I am so pleased with my choice here. I opted for a very classic meatball option, and these were the three most giant meatballs I have ever seen! Served on a bed of linguine dressed in a rather bland tomato sauce, the portion size was spot on, leaving me satisfied, able to eat dessert yet not feeling overstuffed. I loved the homemade texture of the meatballs and they weren’t overdone with annoying herbs and garnishes. I was a little disappointed with the sauce – it just didn’t pack a flavour punch for me and wasn’t even really that tomatoey. It added a nice extra to the meatballs but it could have done with something extra. Jess had a chicken breast served with spaghetti, all covered in a spicy tomato sauce. After a sample spoonful, you could definitely feel the heat in the sauce although it was probably a bit too hot for me. The chicken was delicious and perfectly cooked, although her portion size came up very small, with just a little bundle of pasta plonked next to her rather small chicken. She finished her meal way before I did mine.
For us, dessert was the best course by far. I love a tiramisu, and I know it’s an Italian speciality, so I was looking forward to seeing their interpretation of this coffee and mascarpone dish. It was presented very uniquely, looking almost like a sausage roll style, with the sponge fingers placed in a trio tower, with the mascarpone in the middle. It was delicious though with the ideal mix of textures and a delightful dashing of chocolate sauce on top. Jess’s dessert also made us drool – the hot chocolate cake with oozing centre was pure chocoholic heaven, and we both adored the pistachio ice cream which was absolutely made to partner chocolate, we now realise. Both desserts were presented daintily, hitting the sweet craving at the end of the meal, without pushing you past the point of feeling sickly full.
After chatting a while, we finished off with a couple of cappuccinos, which weren’t included in the voucher, but since we hadn’t had to pay additional costs for sides or certain dishes, we thought we could push the boat out with an extra course. Our two coffees and the service charge came to just under a tenner, which was good result for a night out.
There are many plus points to this Italian hideaway – the offer was incredibly inclusive, with no restrictions or limits, so you really could just eat what you want, which made ordering and selecting so much easier. Desserts and coffee were perfect, and you can’t beat the central location – so easy to get to and with a really great vibe, especially on the weekend. We enjoyed all of the food we had, although portion size for Jess’s main was too small and I wanted a tad more flavour in my sauce, but other than that – great. The menu isn’t too fancy and out there, so everyone in the family should be able to find something tasty, although travelling from Essex to enjoy London, we probably would have preferred something a little bit different and not like we could get at home.
But the night didn’t end there – see where our ramblings took us after we left Little Sicily…
Making a second reservation? Undecided. I had a really fantastic evening and would definitely go again with another discount voucher, as the deal was a good one. I’m just not sure if I would prefer a more exciting menu when I go London-bound.
The Dinner Dates Opinion:
“Overall, I enjoyed my evening at Little Sicily. I had read some reviews before we went and half hated it and half really loved it so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wouldn’t say the atmosphere was amazing but the staff were all very nice and the food was prompt, we weren’t left waiting for long. I was pleased with my food choices, I really liked the food and Italian is one of my favourite cuisines; there was a lot I could have chosen but I didn’t want something that I could have at home. I was a bit disappointed with the portion of pasta for my main course though, especially as Katie got loads with her dish and mine came with just a little bed of spaghetti so maybe this is dish dependent? I loved my dessert though, the chocolate fondant was just so lovely! I liked the wine too, sometimes the cheaper house whites aren’t very nice but this one was very easy to drink.”