I’d heard great things about the food at L’Anima and when I discovered they offer home-made gluten free pasta, decided I had to pay them a visit.
The sun was shining, so we started the evening with a Campari spritz at Sky Lounge at the Double Tree Hilton. Try to visit on a weekend to avoid the after work City crowds.First impressions at L’Anima were great. The front of house staff were charming and greeted us with smiles all round. We felt instantly relaxed by their friendly, welcoming approach.
There is live music in the bar every evening from 7 pm – although there’s a glass wall dividing the bar from the restaurant, so unfortunately you can’t hear it whilst eating. I’m guessing it’s a strategic move however, as I imagine the bar gets very busy on week nights.
The bread looked great and was served warm with a delicious, fruity extra virgin olive oil. I think it would have been a bit nicer sliced and toasted, as it was slightly doughy in texture.
We both ordered house wine – white for me and red for Rob – both were lovely. I often choose house wine, unless we’re splashing out for a special occasion. It’s the restaurant’s choice and often their best selling wine, so in my mind it should be a good reflection of the restaurant’s quality.
To start I ordered Duo di baccala – fried salted cod, stuffed courgette flower & chilli jam. I knew in advance it wasn’t the lowest FODMAP option and the waiter did kindly explain that the cod had a light batter coating, but I had eaten well in the run up to the meal, so knew a small amount of wheat would be fine. Turned out to be a great choice as it was delicious!
The star of the show was definitely the gluten free penne with hand-picked crab, chilli & lemon. It was fresh, fragrant and lemony, with the delicate, sweet crab coating each piece of pasta. The pasta is home-made and it was cooked to perfection, lightly al dente.
I forgot to ask for no garlic and there were a couple of pieces of garlic in the sauce. But they were easy to pick out and I’ll remember to ask for it without next time. There were some good low FODMAP options for dessert – sorbet, Campari soda jelly and possibly the raspberry soufflé and almond ice cream. Rob ordered caramelised pineapple & salted caramel ice cream – I offered to help him out (heroically), but realised the sauce contained mango, so just nibbled around the edges.
I need to remind myself to ask for the sauce on the side more often – it’s obviously a good way to avoid any hidden FODMAPs.L’Anima is a great place for a fantastic low FODMAP business lunch or dinner. Brilliant service and lovely food, all served in an airy, sleek, sophisticated space.
I probably wouldn’t go again for a Saturday evening date – I prefer something a bit more cosy and intimate and the prices are high (probably not an issue for the city clientele with expense accounts but I’ve eaten some delicious Italian food in London at considerably lower prices). That being said, the home made gluten free pasta and stunning crab sauce were fantastic and a real draw!
Amber star – the dishes aren’t totally FODMAP free, but there are certainly some great options.