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This is our second visit to this restaurant and we hoped for a better experience than on our first occasion that you can read about here. Luckily it was nothing like the earlier disaster, but service was still a bit slow and they still have a few raw edges to smooth off. We also need to report that we did get an apology following our previous visit and an offer of hospitality in compensation (which we didn’t take up as we are still anonymous).
Canova Hall is based in an iconic building which used to be an annex of the Bon Marche department store and was later the Brixton Post Office. We describe the interior in our earlier review but, in brief, it’s like a proper brasserie where eating and drinking both have their place. It is a squeeze fitting in six people at a table on the side but we are all reasonably slim, despite all the eating.We went for a birthday meal with all our family, so cocktails first and then food. All the cocktails had our approval, with particular praise for the Martello Brambles. We also ordered some nibbles – green olives and some excellent Padron peppers. Note that some of the olives had been eaten by the time we took the photo.
For food we ordered from the evening menu and had a sharing starter of zucchini fries and some fried aubergines. Both were excellent and were generally agreed as the best part of the meal. We felt we might go back just for the zucchini.
For mains most of us went for different types of pasta – viz. truffle tagliatelle; slow beef rigatoni; and smokey rigatoni. The truffle rigatoni was very aromatic but only a small proportion was eaten so we asked to take it home. They were surprised but accommodated us nevertheless. The two non-pasta eaters chose the house buttermilk fried chicken and were the least satisfied. The chicken was simply too dry with nothing really to offset it, even with a somewhat random slice of melon. A single portion of OK-ish triple cooked chips rounded off the order.
All this was washed down with a reasonable house Montepulciano, which with a good cross-selection of wines is available on draft. The total cost for the six of us, including the 12.5% service charge that was added to the bill, came to £231.41. So not that cheap, but we agreed that it’s a good place for a celebration while not being somewhere we go specifically for the food. It’s a bit like cooking by numbers but we are pleased that they seem to be getting to grips with organising what is such a large operation.