Manicomio, Chelsea

Nestled in the historic Duke of York Military Asylum, Manicomio in Chelsea stands as a beacon of exquisite Italian dining, where every dish is a testament to culinary mastery and seasonal inspiration.

Since opening its doors in 2003, Manicomio has earned a well-deserved reputation for serving some of the most authentic and highly regarded Italian food in London. And it’s not hard to see why. From the moment you step inside, you’re greeted with an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication, coupled with the warmth of genuine Italian hospitality.

What sets Manicomio apart is not only its commitment to excellence in cuisine but also its unparalleled dining experience. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the restaurant offers a variety of dining settings to suit every occasion. Whether you choose to dine in the brand new conservatory and garden, the intimate dining room, the bustling bar, or the expansive heated terrace, you’re in for a treat. And for those seeking a truly special experience, the conservatory private dining room is a hidden gem, with its tranquil courtyard garden providing the perfect backdrop for dinner parties and cocktail receptions.

The menu at Manicomio is a celebration of modern Italian cuisine with a strong emphasis on seasonality. Each dish is carefully crafted to showcase the freshest ingredients, ensuring a culinary journey that is both memorable and delightful. 

The Burrata Pugliese with Roasted Peppers is a dish that perfectly showcases the restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients. The creamy burrata paired beautifully with the smoky sweetness of the roasted peppers creates a harmonious blend of flavours and textures.

The Grilled Tiger Prawns were a revelation, each succulent bite bursting with the essence of the sea. Perfectly grilled and expertly seasoned, they were a true testament to the chef’s skill and attention to detail.

Moving on to the main course, I couldn’t resist trying the Balfego Blue Fin Tuna, a dish that epitomised culinary perfection. Sliced thinly and served raw, the tuna melted in my mouth, its delicate flavour elevated by a touch of quality olive oil and sea salt.

For pasta lovers, the Carbonara was a must-try. The pasta was cooked to al dente perfection, coated in a velvety sauce made from eggs, cheese, and crispy pancetta. Each forkful was a revelation of creamy richness and savoury depth.

The Beef Fillet Spiedino on Fried Polenta was a true carnivore’s delight, with tender beef fillet skewered and grilled to juicy perfection. Paired with the crispy polenta, it was a dish that satisfied both the palate and the soul.

The Buttermilk Chicken Milanese offered a modern twist on a classic favourite, with tender chicken fried to crispy perfection and served atop a bed of fresh greens.

The adjacent bar boasts an impressive wine list and a fabulous selection of cocktails, both traditional and modern. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Negroni or a refreshing Pisco Sour, the bar at Manicomio has something for everyone.

But perhaps the crowning jewel of Manicomio is its expansive heated terrace, arguably one of the best al fresco dining locations in town. With seating for 70 guests, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends or a romantic dinner under the stars.

The dining experience at Manicomio was nothing short of exceptional. From the impeccable service to the exquisite cuisine and the unparalleled ambiance, every aspect of the meal was executed with precision and passion. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or simply looking for a memorable dining experience, Manicomio is the place to be.