Set in two narrow rooms that look out onto an uninspiring view of Whitecross street Alba’s look is somewhat dull and restrained. Still there are welcoming signs such as crisp white tablecloths and gleaming cutlery. Service is speedy as Alba is aware that lunch is generally a brief respite for its clientele and they need to get back to their desks. I ordered the tortino di granchio which was a crab cake flavoured with ginger and chilli to start. The crab cake was small and squat with a crumbed exterior which contrasted with the excellent fleshy crab meat. It was served with a splodge of avocado and a few scattered salad leaves. The seafood based entrees seemed to be the best and the seafood salad of scallops, prawns and octopus looked sensational. Sadly since I visted Alba with work colleagues I couldn’t steal anyone elses food to try it.
From the mains on offer it is difficult to go past the pasta dishes. My ravioli di cervo comprised six large envelopes of ravioli filled with minced venison and was served in a thin venison gravy topped with some shaved parmesan. The ravioli is indicative of Alba’s unfussy approach while still demonstrating accomplished cooking. Pappardelle al ragu was similar in its simplicity of thick ribbons of pappardelle pasta dripping with a rich veal and beef ragu.
Details: 107 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8JH (Ph 020 7588 1798)
If you enjoyed this you may want to read about the brilliant food market that is on Whitecross street every Thursday and Friday or if you are looking for Italian food in London why not try Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen you will be pleasantly surprised.