Macellaio RC, Union Street: Roberto Costa’s third diner takes theatrical theme
13:42 22 December 2016
A “theatrical” in-house butchery and a Ligurian bakery are the highlights of the third incarnation of Macellaio RC.
Just like Roberto Costa’s other two restaurants in Kensington and Exmouth Market, the diner in Union Street, near Borough Market, celebrates quality produce from Italy’s best artisan farmers.
His Kensington branch focuses solely on the Fassona cow’s uniquely lean meat - apparently through natural genetic mutation which causes double muscling – while Exmouth Market adds blue fin tuna - the only fish in the world that can be butchered into four just like a cow. The latest branch has a distinct dramatic edge, inspired by the surrounding theatres. A stage extends into the dining hall between two large banquet tables, where the best dry-aged Fassona cuts of the day are showcased behind glass. Beside it, a white marble butcher’s block is framed by stage curtains and the butcher prepares steaks, carpaccios, tartares, and cured meats in front of the guests.
The beef tartare is second-to-none – simple, letting the quality ingredients shine through, and very reasonably priced at £5.50. The same was true for the beef rib, presented after a dramatic gesture of plunging a steak knife in the table - a ritual at Macellaio symbolising the ‘butcher’ after which the restaurant is named.
Dough for the Ligurian bakery or “Pizzeria secondo me”, is handmade with water, natural yeasts, and the highest quality Italian flour, and proved for 48 hours to enhance its aroma and digestibility. They serve traditional breads, vegetable tarts, fresh pasta and pastries. We tried the salumeria with prosciutto cotto, which again is a bargain at £7.
If theatre is the theme here, and the principal characters are the ingredients, whose astounding flavours take centre stage.