“ 29-31 Old Compton Street, W1V 5PL. Tel: +44 (0)20 7437 7284. „
Every time I visit London, this is the restaurant I try to make a point of visiting. On Old Compton Street, it's in the heart of Soho and medialand, and very handy for the theatres. It's an interesting place to watch the world go by outside, but that's not the reason I go there, of course - it's because of the food, which is the next best thing to being in Italy. First, you get a basket of delicious bread and flavoured oil to dip it into. I tend to choose the pasta dishes - all very good, piping hot and obviously made with fresh ingredients. The house wine is good value, and desserts (if you have room) also delicious. For a London eaterie, I think it's pretty reasonable. You shouldn't have to pay more than around £15 a head, with wine, if you go for pasta. Oh, and the coffee is pretty good too, as you would expect with an Italian restaurant. The waiters wear bow ties, but don't worry the Amalfi isn't a posh place. In a way it can be quite romantic, though, and is probably best for couples. From outside it looks tiny and cramped, but there are also tables downstairs. It seems to be an OK place for people dining on their own, too.