Hai Cenato

3.9
496 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
Hai Cenato is a NYC-Italian restaurant & bar in Victoria's NOVA complex.

Translating as 'Have you had dinner?' in Italian, Hai Cenato serves up lunch and dinner seven days a week. Inspired by New York-Italian cuisine, the menu spans small plates, pasta & risotto, grills and sourdough pizzas.

Upstairs, cocktail bar The Drunken Oyster serves classic Italian cocktails with a twist and sparkling 'taptails'.
What 496 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.8
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Hertfordshire
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 2

Went on strength of Jason Atherton's reputation for quality and we were disappointed on all fronts except for the very professional customer service from the waiting staff. Cocktails in the bar upstairs were 99% soda water and the atmosphere was cold (literally) and bare. Downstairs, our food was truly bad - I never leave anything on my plate but I simply could not finish the lukewarm, rubbery and thick pasta dish. My husband's food was oversalted - he actually tried to scrape off the salt from his garlic bread starter and his pizza was indifferent. Wanted to enjoy the dining experience but really didn't at all.

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JF
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and brilliant service, nice atmosphere and reasonable prices

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OT
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Waitress was very attentive however food was mediocre and overpriced.

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OT
Kent
6 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Perfect for Hamilton pre-theatre. Great service, great pizzas.

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JH
London
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Service was rushed all evening, drinks arrived incorrectly. Our waiter did not take any time out to explain the menu.
The air con was broken and we sat freezing throughout dinner .... had we been told that before we sat down we would not have stayed.

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The food and service were excellent. The the restaurant has a nice ambiance to it - overlooking the kitchen, and the hustle and bustle outside. Me and my party were a bit cold because of a draft however, maybe because of the large windows. Nonetheless the pizza I had was fantastic - even warmed up the next day ;)

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BW
London
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

The food and service was excellent but the premises were quite cold.

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ST
Cork
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great location for pre-theatre meal. The staff were very helpful and we all greatly enjoyed our meal. Lovely convivial ambience.
When we are back in London this will be be a place to return to.

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VL
London
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We booked Hai Cenato on recommendation before going to see Hamilton but because of the security restrictions for the show, did not have very long to experience the restaurant. We enjoyed happy hour cocktails in the bar upstairs which were lovely and then went to sit down at 5.30pm. We actually chose pizza not the pre-theatre menu as the pizzas on nearby tables looked so good and we were not disappointed. We told the waiter that we had to leave by 6.30pm and the service was excellent. Pizzas must have been at the table less than 10 minutes after ordering so we had plenty of time to enjoy them without rushing. The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere, buzzy and friendly. It would be good to go again just to enjoy a meal!

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BH
London
3 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Considering it was dead the food took quite a long time to arrive, then when it did the Arancini were unremarkable and dense and the beef shin ragu just tasted weird. Looked incredible but lacking something and not cheap either. Won’t be returning

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JL
London
1 review
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We went after seeing a show nearby just after 10pm. We were hurried through a meal that had also been thrown together and was quite undercooked. Probably one of the most unenjoyable pizzas I’ve ever had. If you don’t want people in after 10pm, don’t take bookings and accept it. Ended up at the Golden Arches nearby and sadly received much higher quality of service and food.

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LL
London
13 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Although comfortable in a modern way this restaurant is not good value. Service good, very pleasant but the prices are high. Set meal very limited and not especially nice. Drinks prohibit ably expensive. For a pre theatre meal would go elsewhere. Upstairs bar looked good for meeting place. Other than that disappointing

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LS
London
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Burrata was the best starter we ever ate and the pizzas were crazy good. Wine and cocktails were divine but best of all our waitress was so lovely. (Manager you should promote her, she had a mousy blonde bob with a choppy fringe) who couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful, getting us aoli from the kitchen and putting a birthday sparkler in our desert. Such a ‘people person!’ Will be back!

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LS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Busy restaurant with a good buzzy atmosphere. Nice choice of food and delicious pizza. Service was good and friendly staff. Pleased to find a last minute booking for a Friday night easily. Lovely cocktails- would definitely recommend.

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LM
London
25 reviews
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The pizza was absolutely delicious with a light tasty base. The pasta with beef ragout was rich and full-flavoured but could have been hotter temperature-wise. Lemon curd tart and lemon sorbet were both up there with the best we’ve tasted and the salted caramel ice cream was excellent.

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OT
London
9 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

One of my go to choices for an evening out . Excellent food and menu. Service is pretty good although at times a little chaotic.

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PF
London
1 review
Dined on 27 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent venue for a business lunch. Professional and very prompt service.

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OT
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 26 February 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Table for 1. Seated in a corner not visible to the other dinners.
Food was average at best and overpriced.
Completely ignored most of the time.

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CL
London
1 review
Dined on 21 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We were seated straight away as had booked our table, and went with the pre-theatre menu. The starters were delicious and so were the mains, we were stuffed by the end. As it was a celebration they brought out ice cream and a sparkler for free and sung happy birthday. The staff were helpful but could have been a bit friendlier.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 20 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my wife up to a show and threw in dinner. She loves Italian and this place did us proud.

Excellent food very promptly and in a cool and contemporary building. Will definitely come again.

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d
London
2 reviews
Dined on 18 February 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

The food is excellent but I wouldn’t choose to eat here unless I was working nearby or going to the theatre. Why? The restaurant really lacks ambiance, it is soulless and feels very ‘manufactured’ as if you are dining in an airport. The service could be improved, the male waiter ignored tables leaving his female colleague to do all the work. All in all, a good meal but we are not in any hurry to go back.

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JT
Surrey
2 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Food was not great, nothing to fault in terms of what we ordered, just very average flavours or portions. Drinks order was wrong, staff didn’t take feedback on error so we just ordered something different next time (not Italian espresso martini).
Just a very average place, nothing to draw us back.

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PE
3 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We visited with two friends prior to a theatre trip. One of our party has restricted mobility and the reception staff accommodated this restriction very well and with no fuss. Having ascertained that we were in a hurry to eat as we were going to the theatre, our wait was excellent in moving things forward and we accomplished our timing aim.
The pre theatre menu we found a little restricted and most of us struggled to select items that we "wanted" to eat. We chose a main course each and we would rate our selections as "OK", which was a little disappointing.
However, we would visit again to have a second opinion.

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JD
London
1 review
Dined on 15 February 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Too expensive.
Happy hour menu was pathetic.
Waiters never came over to make sure everything was ok and we had to ask each time for another drink. Once a drink came they wouldn’t take away the empty glasses.
The bill was put on our table before we finished dessert.
Overall poor.

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AE
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 1

I would like to start by saying the food itself is faultless. Everything else in relation was horrendous.
We booked for 10:30pm after the theatre having read it was a good “late dining” restaurant.....we heard wrong.
We were called at 10:31pm asking whether we were “still coming” as we were 200 yards away, as we entered we were rushed into an empty restaurant sat down at a table and told, “the kitchen is closing do you know what you want to eat?” as we were being passed a menu.
We ordered in a hurry and the food came within 10 minutes which was obviously excellent yet expected as there was no one else in....
Half way through our mains, (we ordered starters and mains but everything came together) during the checkbeck we were approached with dessert menus and asked for our dessert choices as the kitchen was closing down.
All in all the whole experience was rushed, and we felt as if we were an inconvenience throughout; not what you want for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
We asked for the service charge to be removed, which was questioned by no one and we promptly left.
I would recommend to the owners/managers of the establishment that they in fact don’t take any bookings after 10pm as I’ve had better service in McDonald’s

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 13 February 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Pre theatre menu slightly disappointing, beef shin ragu didn’t live up to expectation! Service was very good and the a la carte menu might be better

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EG
London
1 review
Dined on 13 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really convenient for the theatre - service was excellent and we really enjoyed our meal. Would definitely recommend!

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S
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 12 February 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The restaurant and pizza are nice. I only wish they had more vegetarian options on the lunch menu.

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G
Houston
1 review
Dined on 11 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 2

Food was excellent- although a small portion. Waitress wasn't very enthusiastic.

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S
1 review
Dined on 11 February 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Nice location for the theatre, but would probably just recommend for a drink vs. dinner.

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c
London
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Food was very tasty but the service was unbelievably underwhelming, staff was lacking energy and didn’t make us feel welcome.

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MI
London
2 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Booked this as a last minute birthday meal for a friend. Use of salt in food is a little too long liberal but it had a nice laid-back vibe for Friday night

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AW
London
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Chose this restaurant to eat before going to see Hamilton on 5th February. A fantastic choice.
There were 3 people in our party. Mock cocktails, beers and wine to get started. We opted for 3 small plates to start with which were all delicious. Beets, Italian mushroom balls and pitta with chilli. We then chose the cod on canalini beans and a risotto. The cod was just fantastic. The risotto was good not great. Service was excellent. Very attentive. The noise level was not at all loud at that time. This was the first time I have attended a restaurant as a disabled person. I was very impressed. Thank you

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JR
London
1 review
Dined on 30 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

A lovely meal in a good atmosphere and staff were friendly, courteous and professional. A really great place for pre-theatre dinner as they provide excellent food efficiently

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 29 January 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Average in every way

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B
London
2 reviews
Dined on 27 January 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great experience for adults and kids and super tasty !!

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NH
London
14 reviews
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, lovely wine, good value for excellent quality

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S
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The pasta was incredibly salty
Pizza was wet and had a weird texture
The staff is very unpleasant
Never going again

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MM
London
4 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely venue, with great décor and ambience and the pizzas were very reasonably priced. We didn't have alcohol so I cant comment on the reasonableness of that. Only slight point was that there was just one veggie pizza option - 2 would've been great!

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MH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

This was a really nice restaurant in terms of atmosphere and decor. The actual dining was a let-down though. It was a special occasion for my daughters 16th birthday and we all love Italian food. The issues were that the pizza was cold when it arrived and soggy. It looked great but the edges on a pizza should be crisp - but they were soft and soggy. Also the beef ragu just didn't taste nice I am afraid. On th eplus side the cracked potatoes and starters were great. We ordered a bottle red wine but it was freezing - and so not enjoyable. Also the ambient temperature at our table was also very cold indeed. We didn't have time to complain as we had theater tickets booked. I never normally complain but this time I think you should have the feedback as this was a genuinely lovely place and the menu sounded great. I hope you can get things improved.

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