An Italian delight: Ciullo’s, Kensal Rise
So we all love our neighbourhood, don’t we? We think it has it all: great parks, vibey high streets, nice pubs, a growing number of decent restaurants. Yep – it has it all. Or so we thought…. Wife and husband combo Hannah and Daniele felt Kensal in particular was missing something as they searched for a spot to order a good glass of wine, a decent Italian coffee, nibble on some tasty antipasti and enjoy the afternoon sun or evening sunset. Having successfully run the excellent Lisa’s on Portobello for some years, and with a sense of what an area needs, they decided to open Cuillo’s – an authentic Italian deli/coffee shop and wine bar, right on a prime spot of the newly landscaped exterior to Kensal Rise overland on Station Terrace.
QPF turned up with the midday sun beating down and the promise of a meal to suit the weather. And while the interior was inviting; cool styling and Italian produce to die for on display, we couldn’t resist sitting outside in the shaded heat and ordering a crisp Rosé, opting for the Pur Azur, Provance. Hannah was delighted to offer the exceptional wine at a reasonable price with a corkage charge – allowing customers to enjoy that extra glass.
We settled down for lunch, treating ourselves to a bit of everything. What came across was Hannah’s passion for Italian food, and the care with which ingredients were sourced and flavours were paired. The selection of focaccia sandwiches was light and tasty – with fillings of Parma ham, stracciatella & green pesto, fennel salami, taleggio & artichoke spread and the QPF favourite, grilled veg, Stracciatella & red pesto. Well balanced, moreish and just the right amount of naughty. And with some delicious bruschetta on the side (classic tomato / N’duja, peppers & mozzarella and Sorrentina) we tucked into a cream bechamel lasagne, scamorza – a delightful cousin of mozzarella with tomato sauce and parmesan and one of the best parmigiana QPF have had in a while. Each dish was nicely presented, full of colour and flavour and perfect to share. And without too much resistance we devoured the mouth-watering connolo Siciliano to finish.
With little fuss, it really felt that Hannah and Daniele had created a simple but tempting menu that was both relaxed and elegant. That didn’t overcomplicate but managed to pair the experience with the food. We knew we were in Kensal, but to close our eyes, feel the sun and taste the food, it could have been a relaxed quiet southern Italian Piazza, and QPF, for sure, will be going again soon. So – we thought we had everything in our hood. We’ve never been more delighted to be proved wrong!
Delicatessen | Coffee Shop | Wine Bar
3 Keslake Mansions, Station Terrace, Kensal Rise, NW105RU
tel : 020 3565 0151
Monday: 08.00 – 17.30
Tuesday: 08.00 – 17.30
Wednesday: 08.00 – 20.30
Thursday: 08.00 – 20.30
Friday: 08.00 – 20.30
Saturday: 08.00 – 20.30