With numerous restaurant openings (and unfortunate closings) happening every month, it is a commendable feat for a business to survive past each challenging year, and Twist Kitchen happens to be one of those that continues to flourish. Now entering its fifth year, Twist Kitchen by Naples-born Chef, Eduardo Tuccillo and Restaurant Manager, Giulia Isola has come a long way from its origins as a rustic Spanish-Italian neighbourhood joint on Crawford Street in Marylebone.
Having found his definitive culinary voice and owning his own restaurant for the last five years, Chef Eduardo’s had previously worked under legend, Alain Ducasse at The Adour, New York City, and Michelin Chef Alfonso Iaccarino at Don Alfonso 1890 on the Amalfi coast, which has provided a rigorous foundation for his career today.
With two AA Rosettes to his name and an ongoing sense of passion and creativity, Chef Eduardo has drawn inspiration from his extraordinary global adventures, from North to South America, across Asia and South Africa, which is reflected in his menus, having evolved from straightforward Mediterranean tapas to something more of an expression of his culinary journey and stories from around the world.
The resulting tapas style plates are careful constructions of both authentic and contemporary Mediterranean dishes combined with Peruvian, Japanese or Asian ingredients with a careful attention to flavour, texture, temperature and undeniably impeccable presentation.
The menu features seasonal and local ingredients, sourced from specially selected suppliers: meat from craft Wiltshire butchers and fish from Henderson Seafood.
The restaurant is overseen by Restaurant Manager, Giulia Isola, her previous experience of four years as a senior server at Le Caprice and profound knowledge of wine (WST Level 2) providing an exquisite dining experience that has contributed to Twist’s five year success.
The husband and wife team who first met whilst working at the Aura Club, St James, Mayfair are truly a real-life definition of a dream team.
The interior is cosy and has a rustic feel to it, simply furnished with wooden tables, exposed brick walls and Spanish-style tiles that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, influenced by their Mediterranean roots. The upstairs dining area features an open plan kitchen that gives diners a view of of the behind-the-scenes action, with additional seating downstairs for those who desire a quieter environment.
Having been greeted and welcomed by our lovely host Giulia, we started with one of my favourite appetizers, lightly charred padron peppers, sprinkled with fleur de sel, and a lovely glass of crisp and floral Gavi di Gavi to pair with our seafood dishes.
They had a couple of Specials on offer that evening, both of which sounded equally tempting. We went for the King Carabineros tartare, mixed with a creamy burrata, and beneath it a light and refreshing seaweed sorbet, all topped off with Oscietra caviar, one of the most prized and expensive types of caviar. We were advised to eat all the components of the dish all together in each mouthful, which all came together very well. On the side came served the head of the carabineros, a striking bright red colour, that was simply salted and grilled til it was crisp – prawn heads have always been considered a delicacy, and I didn’t hesitate to get my fingers stuck into it in the most ladylike manner that I could manage. It seemed to be a popular choice amongst the other guests as well, judging from the number of dishes coming through the kitchen pass.
The Japanese scallops with mazara red prawns were really fresh and delicate, with a nice touch of sharpness from the pickled cucumbers – it has been a while since I’ve had good, fresh seafood, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We were recommended one of their signature dishes, a favourite of mine, which was fried courgette flowers filled with ricotta, mint, Amalfi lemon and drizzled with honey. Crisp and golden on the outside contrasted by the creamy ricotta on the inside – always a winning summer dish.
From the meat section, we had the secreto Iberico, one of my favourite cuts of meat which comes from between the shoulder blade and the loin of the prized Iberian pigs. The dense marbling of the meat makes it incredibly juicy and flavoursome when cooked. This was served on a creamy and buttery mash, pak choi leaves and complemented by a roasted chicken jus.
The Wiltshire lamb chops were perfectly grilled, the meat tender and well-seasoned which warranted a brief finger-licking good moment, savoured alongside a glass of red. We also had a side of Josperised hispi cabbage seasoned with garlic and chilli which was tasty.
Finally for dessert, I couldn’t resist a good flan and ordered the flan-creme-caramel which was sweet and silky smooth, just as I like it, topped with salted popcorn flakes, accompanied by an Amazonian cashew nut ice cream. For those who like to finish on a savoury note, they also have a Chef’s selection of cheeses – we tried the Gorgonzola cheese which was strong and had a nice bite to it.
Overall, based on our experience that evening, Twist Kitchen was definitely en pointe in both the quality of food and service – the food was a harmonious fusion of flavours using good quality ingredients, and the service undeniably attentive, which is always key to a good restaurant. Twist is certainly a lovely neighbourhood restaurant to visit where you’re promised a memorable dining experience – you may find out more information on bookings on their website.
- I was invited to review Twist Kitchen – all views and photos are my own.