Casa Malevo had been on our list of restaurants to try for a while but for one reason or another, we had to cancel multiple times until we finally booked it to go with our friends David and Justin. They moved here around the same time we did and we had been meaning to get together forever but trips and guests and all got in the way……
We had been to Casa Malevo’s sister restaurant Zoilo (http://zoilo.co.uk/) right when we moved here, almost two years ago and really enjoyed it. We found Zoilo more intimate and the menu more interesting. Casa Malevo’s menu is very meat-centric so if you are dining with a friend who has food issues, stay away. Since most of my friends don’t fall into that camp, meat was welcome, plus, there were three guys, and me, not a hard sell (men+steak+booze = match made in heaven).
What we ate:
Grilled chorizo on toast, onions & malbec braised ox cheeks: not the most appealing dish visually and the bread got a bit too soggy with the meat juices, but the grilled chorizo was nicely spiced and very good and the ox cheeks melted in our mouths.
Grilled squid salad with courgettes, avocado & chorizo: I love grilled squid but in this case the dish was bland, even with the chorizo. The chorizo looked more like salami and was very thinly sliced. They should have crumbled some of the one served on toast on top of the squid instead or removed it all together. The squid was not rubbery but not grilled with a nice char like I tend to love. The avocado on the other hand was perfectly ripe and creamy. I would skip it.
Provoleta, smoked peppers, tomatoes & oregano: I grew up eating provoleta in Brazil and knew this would be a must order. Melted gooey cheese with some oregano and herbs, hard to not be delicious. The only thing is they should serve this with toasted bread instead of regular soft focaccia. Yum
“Asado” – Slow grilled flank steak & bone marrow sauce: as one of the two steaks we ordered, this one was more flavourful and interesting. As a Brazilian, it is hard for me to say Argentine steak is better, because it really isn’t, so I have a natural bias for not loving it and much as my dear Picanha I grew up with and adore (cut of beef referred to as the rump cover or rump cap, whatever that means, it is so tasty!). This one proved me right!
Beef fillet: as straightforward as its name. But not a must or rush back to eat it.
Grilled whole Red mullet, toasted almonds, terragon & lemon butter: I asked for it to be deboned as it is normally served with the head and tail. I really didn’t care for this dish, too fishy and a bit odd. Hard to explain why, just don’t order it.
Papas fritas “Provenzal”: chips with garlic, loads of it.
Seasonal buttered greens, lemon & olive oil: just that!
Creamed spinach: the best of the side dishes, creamy, rich and stick to your hips tasty!
Dulce de Leche crème brûlée with banana split ice cream: we had high hopes for this. I am not a crème brûlée person but have tried this version in Brazil and loved it. This one didn’t really taste like dulce de leche and was a straightforward crème brûlée. The best part was the absolutely yummy banana split ice cream. So good I ordered another scoop on the side.
Chocolate Mousse & Cherry Compote with Mascarpone Cream: it was ok, the mousse was nice but I didn’t love the combo with the cherry compote.
Dulce de leche pancakes with vanilla ice cream: the ratio of dulce de leche was off and there should have been loads more of it. The crepes were a bit dry around the edges.
In sum: cute place but its sibling Zoilo is much cuter and the food there more interesting. We appreciated that they didn’t rush us out after two hours on a Saturday night.
Casa Malevo http://casamalevo.com/
23 Connaught Street London W2 2AY
T +44 (0) 20 7402 1988