There are myriad reasons you might recognize Theo Randall’s name. Not only is he one of the UK’s leading chefs in Italian cuisine, but he’s also a regular guest on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Through his consultancy work with brands like Marks & Spencer, Pizza Express, Gousto, and many more, his passion for Italian food is woven into British culture. The truest expression of his love affair with the nation’s cooking, culture, and produce can be found in his restaurant, Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel on London’s Park Lane.

Theo Randall moved to this location in 2006 after 15 years of work as the Head Chef at London’s legendary River Café, where he earned the restaurant a Michelin Star. Notably, despite his numerous commitments, he can often be found right there in the kitchen overseeing the service. This is a privilege not to be taken for granted. Many chefs have their name above the door, but for someone of Theo’s reputation, it’s reassuring to know that he will be right there, presiding over your meal. The ambient chatter in the restaurant contained references to Saturday Kitchen, specific dishes patrons had visited to sample, and Chef Randall was only too happy to engage with his enthused clientele.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to try the “Taste of Italy” regional tasting menu, which is themed around a different region of Italy every month. This concept allows for an educational showcase of the diversity of regional Italian cooking, accompanied by the fantastic local produce they boast, all with tailored wine pairings. As of the time of writing this review, we are in February, so I experienced the Tuscan variant.

Dinner kicked off with a Tomato Bruschetta and Focaccia served with a crisp welcome glass of Salter Prosecco from Ruggeri. The strikingly coloured and beautifully sweet tomatoes and the golden, airy Focaccia were a subtle promise of the meal ahead.

Antipasto came in the form of Salumi Misti. Nothing overcomplicated here – Fennel Salami and Lardo Di Colonnata with chicken liver served on a crostino next to pickled vegetables. The acidity of the pickled veg, including Romesco (a personal favourite), complements the chicken liver and the salty, herby, buttery smoothness of the Lardo Di Colonnata, a distinctly regional cured fat from Colonnata in the Apuan Alps. A little tip from the serving staff suggested placing the Lardo Di Colonnata atop the chicken liver-laden crostini, a recommendation I’d certainly pass on.

For the wine pairing, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Castellini 2022. A mineral-driven wine with a crisp apple edge and a subtle camomile – so fresh that you could be forgiven for thinking you could not become inebriated consuming the bottle.

Primo time then. Freshly made pasta in the form of Tortelli with black truffle and pecorino cheese, accompanied by an indulgent and comforting slow-cooked beef Ragu. Portion sizes were generous for a tasting menu. The pasta was beautifully made, and what’s not to love about the inclusion of black truffle? Appropriately paired with a fruity Chianti, this plate was a distillation of Italian comfort food.

Scamone di agnello for Secondo. Marinated lamb, Tuscan style. Served with potatoes, Florence fennel, garlic, and rosemary with jus, and topped with salsa verde. Wonderfully cooked, fragrant, and tender – I cannot remember having enjoyed a better lamb dish. The wine pairing was a ‘Terremore’ Marchesi de Frescobaldi 2019, an intense and fruity oak-barrelled Cabernet that hits deep plum fruitiness and some smooth tannins.

Torta della nonna. You have at the very least, heard the name. Traditional and an exceedingly popular Tuscan tart with sweet custard, pine nuts, and vanilla. A dessert that is loved throughout Italy concludes our tasting menu alongside a little helping of crema di mascarpone. Delicately flavoured with sweet pastry and plenty of texture, a fitting conclusion to such a wonderful meal.

Restaurant Interior

The interiors of the restaurant are inspired by its heraldry of Italian culture. Soft green booths adorn the floor space, with brass dividers and plenty of lighting to compensate for an absence of windows. Colourful artworks bring vibrancy to the dining space, alongside a cozy bar area with an illuminated wine rack.

Pricing for the regional tasting menu comes in at £85 per person. Although by no means a cheap meal, it is a memorable dining experience where a true statesman of Italian cooking is in the building, ensuring his passion for Italy grants you a dining experience like no other. Besides, it’s Sicily in March.

Visit Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane, One Hamilton Place, Park Lane London W1J 7QY.