Olivomare: Still on top form (June 2017)

There is no shortage of high-end Italian restaurants in London, but Belgravia's Olivomare has never disappointed on the multiple times when I have visited. Last week, on a Friday lunchtime was no different. By the simple rule-of-thumb test over how busy a restaurant is, Olivomare would win hands down every time. Not a table was free on our visit, but the experience was none the worse for it. Customers flock here for the opportunity not simply to people-watch but primarily to sample the superlative preparation of fish, Italian-style. The olives and basket of bread brought to the table on arrival give a sense of what is to come - the sourcing of the best, freshest and most intense ingredients. I began with a wonderfully luscious tuna bressola and green beans, prepared to perfection with a wonderful balance of saltiness and savoury. My comrade's seafood soup also pleased. Onto the mains, and my choice of crab linguine demonstrated perfectly the art of good cooking: take some fairly basic ingredients of spaghetti, olive oil, fresh crab meat, garlic, pepper and chilli, but combine well and you get a dish of first-class proportions. Even the coffee at the meal's close impressed: rich and intense. The experience does not come obviously cheap (~£50/head without booze), but it is undoubtedly worth it.