The City’s Coco di Mama

Lunch is becoming an endangered custom in London. The time of the day that used to be dedicated to enjoying a midday meal has been successively compressed into a shorter and shorter period of time, all in the name of efficiency and an increased workload. We’re now expected to have our lunch at our desk and anyone taking more than half an hour out of the office is greeted back to his or her chair with a look normally reserved for those watching a condemned man heading to the gallows.

Thank heavens then for Coco di Mama, a new venue that has sprung up in the heart of the City. Whilst its produce can be taken away, the essence of its food transcends the hurly burly that surrounds the venue. It would be lovely to say that the ambience of the venue matches the sophistication of its ingredients but its popularity after only four months of opening meant a hectic atmosphere at the lunchtime when I visited.

The venue’s early repute comes from its blue cheese carbonara and to test the claims, it was this that I plumped for. The carbonara comes in a pot that can be taken away or eaten on site. The quality of the pasta was clear in the taste but while the blue cheese did certainly add an interesting twist on the traditional favourite, the transition between plate and pot did leave some important components behind.

A good carbonara should be rich and creamy and the lack of any sauce did make the offering a little pallid. It was robust and the excellent quality of the ham made it an ideal lunchtime dish – not too heavy but satisfying enough to make the afternoon hours a little more bearable.

There are also a good range of desserts, miniature pots which include yoghurts and trifle. I plumped for the tiramisu, which was a little too cramped up in its pot to unleash its full potential but was still very enjoyable.

Interestingly, the most appealing aspect of Coca di Mama’s operation is the coffee that they offer. Their coffee is a compelling mix of Brazilian and Guatamalan beans and the result is a consummate mockery of anything else that you might find the area.

Coco di Mama faces some strong competition to form a permanent base in the City. Its model and imagery are a little too close to Prêt A Manger, which really isn’t needed. This is because its fresh pasta and its fantastic coffee are making too good an excuse to tell your boss to stick his instruction to have lunch on site.

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1 Response

  1. Charlie Cooper

    Too true about lunch breaks – what’s happened to our society?! Great piece…gonna check this place out. Thanks!

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