Having grown up learning the language and culture of Italy, I can say from personal experience that it is rare for an Italian to feel content with a meal at an Italian eatery anywhere other than in their home country. Therefore, when recently told by a Sicilian friend that the only restaurant they felt did pizza and pasta justice was Princi, I knew I had to take a visit.
Walking around Soho, there appears to be a piece of Italy on every corner. There are so many restaurants to choose from, many Italian and many with good reviews. Based on London-famous Wardour Street, Princi‘s large glass-front exterior allows possible visitors to openly take a look inside before actually entering the building. Peering through, I instantly notice a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, somewhat reminiscent of a local town cafe in Italy itself!
I decided to take three of my friends for an early evening catch-up. Having never been before and not knowing how the restaurant worked, we were initially sat in the on-the-go section. Although this would be perfect for a quick bite or take away (Yes, they offer a take away service!) to eat during your lunch hour, we asked to be moved to the seating area with an a la carte menu. The staff were extremely friendly and happy to move us right away, giving me a positive opinion before even seeing the menu!
Whether you fancy the foccaccio faccio, veal cannelloni or simply a margarita pizza, the chefs sure know how to deliver. Slightly guilty of often choosing the dishes I know I will always love, I went for the good old Carbonara. But, I must say, this Carbonara was AMAZING. My friends went for a range of different pizzas, freshly cooked in the wood burning oven in the centre of the restaurant – there’s always something warming about watching your food be prepared in a traditional way.
Drinks wise, you cannot beat the fresh juices – the watermelon juice is particularly good! Of course if juice isn’t your fancy there is a vast range of coffees, waters and other fancy drinks such as Cedrata Lassoni – I’m not sure what this either but the name is enough to draw me in!
Open from 7 to Midnight Monday to Saturday and with reduced Sunday hours, Princi is perfect for an affordable meal at any time, whether it be breakfast, dinner or simply to pick up a coffee on-the-go. Be warned, it does get very busy, but anyone that eats out should take this as a good sign! In the words of an Italian, è bellissimo!