The end of the road with Sommelier. Plans kept going awry when we tried to meet, and with my second flat tyre of the week repaired I was becoming increasingly frustrated at having to cycle around the river to try and finalise a meeting place. I said I was going home. Sommelier said we should grab food at Azzurro.

It is located in an arch between Waterloo Station and the Hungerford Bridges, along a particularly touristy strip that I wouldn’t normally visit. It was moderately full, comfortably so for a diner like myself. The railway arch is the best thing about the decor, and that is more of an architectural detail than the decor.

Sommelier and I were both tired, but the wine perked us up. He complained that they had non-Italian wines on a menu. Italian restaurants should show confidence in themselves by only featuring Italian wines. I am inclined to somewhat agree.

He had a bruschetta to start, I had arancini. The arancini was a lacklustre tribute to genuine arancini, stodgy and bland. Bruschetta was bruschetta.

For mains, he ordered the seafood risotto with linguine instead of rice, and I had a meat parpadelle. He said that I ordered better than him, as I always do. Both mains were fine. I am still yet to find a really good Italian in London (Fabrizio closed, and I should have ordered pasta there).

I had a dessert that was recommended by a waitress who was clearly just pulling a dessert out of thin air, Sommelier had dessert too. Both were mediocre, hold the plus. Lent was not going well. We stayed beyond closing much to the waitresses annoyance, though we weren’t the final customers to leave. Waiting for the last customers to leave was one of my biggest gripes when I worked in service, but here I am being a hypocrite. We tipped them well.

Azzurro is apparently a chain. Of course it is, in this strip of land. But a “London chain”, so more acceptable than Prezzo or, heaven forbid, Ask.

Goodbye forever like the messes of people that we are.


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