A few weeks ago, I was invited down to visit Caterina55 a casual, budget friendly Italian all day dining establishment with a twist, of using only natural ingredients.
It’s about five minutes walk from Moorgate tube station in London.
Caterina55 take pride in offering a menu that features only natural and organic ingredients.
A stand out point I must make is that it is ridiculously cheap for London. It’s probably most similar to a fresh fast food establishment like EAT or Prêt, but specifically targets their niche, traditional Italian cuisine. It’s a bit further out to travel to, probably more suited to those within the local business district, for example the Barbican Centre is right across the road. I’m sure it’s a regular visit for plenty of the staff there.
But if you’re ever in the area and looking for a quick bite to eat, I’d definitely recommend you pop in. If you like Italian food, they offer a classic twist on traditional Italian dishes so it’s worth trying out so you can come to your own conclusion!
Bearing in mind, it’s advertised as fast food, and you expect little table service involved, the service was impeccable. However, the service we received was slightly more thorough and attentive because Michele, the restaurant manager, was keen to talk through the company culture and concept and provide us with an in-depth introduction to menu on offer.
That’s how I learnt about his current thoughts on wanting to transform their eating experience into a more personalised, sit down service. By offering wine glasses and plates to serve food and drink rather than just using the Caterina55 packaging.
Onto the food!
We generously accepted starters, mains, desserts, coffee and a bottle of wine to share. I think we were slightly spoilt with our treatment; however, we definitely got the best chance to sample the variation on offer. So I was able to form an overall conclusion about what was available on the whole!
From the starters the Calamari was definitely my favourite, the spinach filled parcels were scrummy too! All of the starters featured a very light and fluffy batter which made the dishes all the more enjoyable! The reason for the non-greasy light batter was due to them using a different type of oil which helps to emphasis the organic and natural ingredients used. We also sampled chickpea chips, and stuffed vegetable falafel balls. These were both interesting to try to, however, I felt slightly overloaded with food by this point and didn't want to cloud my judgement on the mains.
Mains featured some classic pasta dishes, which didn't disappoint, I also sampled their organic burger too which was definitely a different taste, but I rather enjoyed it!
The main thing that stood out to me however was how passionate the staff were, they were so eager to share their knowledge, their love for the industry and the food they offered. You can tell their passion lies in educating people about their traditional Italian cuisine.
One last thought: think of Prêt – we all love the fact they offer fresh food that’s ready to go when you are?
But does it sell bottles of hand-picked wine ready to buy and have alongside your meal?
Caterina55 does - and at a fraction of the price.
You can even nab yourself a freshly prepared lasagne, by all means it’s made to order but its super speedy and ready to eat within minutes!
Having a bottle of wine to share was definitely my favourite touch; (not only because I am a wine fiend) but I think this makes it an ideal lunching-spot for budding business workers who are looking to dine over a meeting with clients or colleagues.
I’d like to thank Caterina55 again for the experience and for educating me fully about their concept.
For more information on what they have to offer you see the website here