A restaurant must be doing something right if they have been around for over 20 years. You certainly can’t tell Eco‘s age from a cursory look at their smart modern decor. That’s because they’ve spent considerable amounts of money on refurbishing the restaurant. It has a happening buzz with shades of orange to match their brand colour: the particular standout is their giant dome-shaped orange pizza oven, which is unsurprisingly in constant use. There’s also distressed brick walls and sharp orange coloured pendant lamps.
First thing to mention from their menu are all the prices just seems considerably cheaper than similar venues. It was hardly a surprise, there was barely a spare table available during our visit.
We had a very strong-tasting artichoke and baby mozzarella which was cleverly matched with beef tomato, as that added bulk to the dish and beef tomato is notoriously not very flavoursome. Chilli prawns was pan-fried just to the right degree so that the meat wasn’t overcooked and the chilli spices added a delightful kick to the dish. Although the temperature of the dish did drop rapidly, so that it was quite luke-warm halfway through the dish.
They might have made their name with pizzas, but their pastas are certainly well worth visiting for. We tried an artichoke, asparagus, wild mushroom spaghetti with a delicious, creamy white wine sauce. Whilst there are lots of ingredients in the dish, the defining taste is the intensity from the wild mushrooms and the flavour is soaked into the al dente spaghetti. The other dish we tried was a special of ragu of wild boar and porcini mushroom slow cooked with red wine sauce and served with pappardelle. It was a very rich tasting pasta and one not often served by Italian restaurants who think diners might be hesitant in ordering wild boar.
If pasta isn’t your scene, they do of course have a lengthy list of pizzas and classic salads and dishes like grilled chicken breast and sirloin steaks.
With the decent portion sizes here, you might struggle for room for desserts. However, it might be hard to resist a traditional tiramisu. The dessert here has the right amount of creaminess and sponginess and thankfully is just the ideal portion size to leave a lovely sweet aftertaste as you leave the restaurant.
Eco is without doubt one of the best value restaurants I’ve seen in London, so even if you don’t live in Clapham, I would strongly recommend making a trip there.