Canta Napoli, Devonshire Road, Chiswick W4.
Jane Harrison eats at Canta Napoli, Devonshire Road, Chiswick W4.
AT LAST. A proper Italian restaurant, complete with the noise and, if I’m honest, slight mayhem.
While the hustle and bustle may not be the most relaxing way to spend an evening, Canta Napoli more than makes up for this with some wonderful, genuine Italian food. Not a microwave in sight – we could see the kitchen.
You don’t need to be a foodie to realise you are getting the real deal. The evidence – bums on seats – spoke for itself.
We weren’t that hungry – an enforced late lunch for reasons I won’t bore you with – so we started with what we thought was a tomato salad, but turned out to be bruschetta (£3.95). I was delighted as the garlic, olive oil and basil dressing was delicious and I had the lion’s share.
For his main course, Michael had the chicken salad (£9.95). We’ve come across some sad, wilting and plain mean ones in the past.
This was the opposite. Very generous on all accounts, particularly the wonderfully moist chicken, crunchy pancetta and plenty of parmesan shavings. Michael said it was ‘tasty and well-balanced, much meatier than usual’.
I had the special: ragu linguini (£10.50), which was basically posh spaghetti bolognese. I can make a good one myself, but this was much better – a lovely, rich, deep sauce and enough for the quantity of pasta.
There are some delicious-sounding desserts, such as a almond and chocolate cake from Capri, but that will have to keep for another time. I could only manage the lemon sorbet (£3.95) and there’s not a lot you can say about a sorbet. It was refreshing and well, lemony.
There are plenty of reasonable main courses, starting at £8.75 and going up to £18, and individual 12in pizza or half metre ones to share, which looked fantastic.
There are a few moans, the main one being that the main courses arrived seconds after the starter so we felt very rushed. There were not many members of staff, so maybe they were just overwhelmed and wanted to get the food out. They were also quite brusque when I booked, so maybe some training should be considered.
The menu itself was very hard to read, as the print was very squashed – and it’s not my age!
But this is an unpretentious, convincingly Italian and honestly priced restaurant, with no rip-off factor and it’s in Chiswick, so if you fancy a no-frills meal, it passes the taste test.