Carluccios has been around for 17 years, and recently launched a brand new menu along with a way to experience your feast in 360. Yes that’s right! If you head down to local Carluccio’s you can grab a pair of FREE 360 cardboard box googles. Go to a youtube link put your smartphone inside the box and get into the VR experience. Filmed on a sunny day in Sicily, you hear the waves hitting against the rocks and Antonio himself makes an appearance.
I was invited down to the brand new flagship store in Covent Garden before it opens it’s doors to the public. We were all in for a specially selected 7-course dinner by Chef Luciano Nastasi, paired with wines. It was also downsized from the normal full-size ones so we can eat them all.
Sicilian Arancini balls are something I tried at Carluccio’s Xmas previews. It’s undeniable that these crispy rice balls filled with mozzarella and basil, and the other ragu and cheese were a pleasure.
Crab macaroni sounds so wrong but so good together. Usually, when I order lobster macaroni I get all happy thinking I’m eating something premium but the thing is there are hardly lobster pieces and it’s simply not a strong enough flavour to detect. However, the blue swimming crab meat strikes through, along with the thick rich creamy sauce with garlic breadcrumbs is heaven on a plate.
Seafood linguine is a simple but classic dish. Fresh seafood, mussels, clams and prawns tossed in a rich tomato sauce and fresh basil, will please everyone.
Carbonara is another favourite, Carluccio’s has gone back to their original recipe and used guanciale instead of pancetta. Resulting in a more intense meaty flavour, it’s crispy texture is addictive.
Duck pappardelle, instantly reminded me of my favourite ragu dishes. Flavoursome along with pasta cooked until andante, the garlic breadcrumbs really gave it extra depth.
Before we went onto desserts Antonio Carluccio made an appearance and moved the room with his presence. Then we got to put on the VR cardboard google and watched the specially made video. It’s a fun experience for diners.
Last but not lease the desserts. I was full by the third plate, but when it comes to desserts I seem to have a second stomach for it. The rum fudge cake is from Antonio own recipe. It’s lovely and moist not too dense. Lemon tart is sharp just how I like it and the cherry gelati sure tasted like it was infused with booze.