Hai Cenato

3.9
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712 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Italian

Top tags:

Pre/post Theatre
Casual
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'. Please note that we only have the afternoon menu available between 2:31 p.m. and 5:29 p.m.
What 712 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
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
70% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
London
202 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My mother always told me if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Needless to say I will not be going back some of the worst service I have had ever anywhere I understand things go wrong but it’s how they dealt with that sets restaurant apart.

O
London
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Really nice dinner at Hai Cenato. The pasta portions are quite large, so a small would have done me better than the large.

SS
London
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Service has to be really bad for me to request the service charge is taken off the bill, and for me to write a review. Service was really bad. To ask several times for a glass of Prosecco that had been ordered at the same time as a carafe of wine that had arrived was bad enough. To watch the table next to us, who had ordered all their drinks after us, receive all their drinks and have to ask for the glass of Prosecco again after that was worse. To be kept waiting when you’ve requested the bill and then to see your server chatting at length to another member of staff was annoying, but getting the bill and finding an extra glass of Prosecco on it was a bit more annoying. Then to request the service was removed and to not get a single sorry from the server or the manager who subsequently came to deal with it was inexcusable. I’ve worked in restaurants and hospitality, the customer isn’t always right, but when the customer feels they’ve been so badly treated they ask you to take service off the bill, an apology is literally the least you can offer them.

L
London
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Fabulous food and great experience. The service wasn't up to par but Antonio really took care of us.

K
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was friendly, but not overt. Food was delicious and they gave our daughter a little sparkler with dessert because it was her birthday.

RS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for a pre-theatre meal and we would definitely return. Delicious food, great service and good value.

KP
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Nice surroundings and comfortable seating. Food was decent. Service overly pushy. tried to clear plates on four occasions despite being told we weren't finished.

KL
Cambridge
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Service was very slow, we had a friendly waiter. The starter food was ok, the mains was rather disappointing and rather expensive for what is was. Not rushing back.

CL
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Very poor catering for food allergies / religious requirements. We specified a dish have the ham topping removed. It arrived with the ham. When we reminded them of the (religious) dietary requirement, they simply peeled the ham off and gave it back to us. We had to push them to re-prepare a fresh dish which hadn't been in contact with ham. The manager was then pretty obnoxious in dealing with the issue.

m
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience3

I visited Hai Cenato in a Saturday afternoon for pre-theatre lunch in Victoria. We arrived and were told that they didn’t have our booking, however as it was quiet we were seated straight away.
Our waiter (didn’t catch his name) was very friendly and accommodating. We opted for the bottomless pizza and Prosecco. The food was excellent.
Generally was a nice meal until the bill came.
My friend and I split the bill and each paid by card and had decided to leave a tip in cash.
We had ordered a couple of drinks and were still drinking them and chatting when somebody who looked like the manager came over and said “I noticed you didn’t pay the service charge on your bill”
I said “yes I am aware, it is an optional service charge and we would rather leave it in cash” he then responded “unless the service was bad u should pay this. It is our wages!”. He then stood there waiting expectantly and was asking us why we hadn’t paid it. I was quite taken aback at how rude he was and we felt extremely uncomfortable at being questioned. It was extremely awkward and unprofessional and we then decided out of principle that we didn’t want to pay service after that and that we won’t be returning to or recommending Hai Cenato.

M
London
17 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was great! Ordered drinks which came halfway through the meal. Both drinks looked similar and when we asked which one was which the waiter said I don't know and walked off. This was hilarious but obviously not good service.

EW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food was great but service was awful. The first part of our meal was extremely rushed, the waitress pestering us to hurry up and order. Then we ordered espressos for after our food and it took around half an hour for them to bring them over, when they finally did they were cold. They did give us them on the house because they took so long. We wouldn’t of minded so much if we hadn’t felt so rushed by the waitress initially.

N
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on 11 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was great, good service, good food, I would go there again.

SM
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Overall, our visit was ok.
Disappointed to not receive the pre theatre menu as an option. Asked a member of staff who had to then go and ask a manager if it was available. They never came back. We then found the menu online and asked if it was ok to have dishes from the menu to which we were told was fine. Staff seemed very disengaged throughout. A shame as the food was great and the vibe of the place great fun. Could be amazing and packed to the rafters if service was upped a notch!

DS
London
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Understaffed therefore difficult to provide good service. Staff were lovely though

JB
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were looking for a cheap place to relax with our friends in the Victoria area and the drunken oyster fit the bill. The downstairs dining area had us wondering if we'd stumbled into the wrong place as it seemed to be for a more upmarket dining experience. But once upstairs we found a nice relaxed bar with everything we needed to entertain ourselves. The drink is well priced which helped cushion a blow that we'd seen that cocktails were a fiver. They are in fact 2 for £12 and the cocktails in that offer didn't tickle our fancy. We found we could get a pint for £3.80 which in the middle of Victoria is great. Also there was an option to get Pizza and wine for £9, again given the location, a great price. The staff especially Elena were very friendly and cool with us and if you find yourself in the area and want to start your adventure or just chill with friends then this is a great little spot.

CM
London
9 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The best thing about Hai Cenato were the staff, they were friendly and accommodating. We had our annual friends meet up and it was great and the staff were attentive but not too intrusive. The wine list was okay and the food was good but not exceptional. The menu is small but interesting.

MB
London
5 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Loved everything about it except service was a bit slow at the start of our evening and it was very noisy.

OT
1 review
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great staff and great service only downfall was the pasta dish which wasn’t good at all. All other food we had was great!

NN
Denver
75 reviews
Dined on 5 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Surprisingly good food and reasonable value. Service was attentive. Very noisy environment making it difficult to carry on a conversation. Underground station (Victoria) in very close proximity.

IM
London
3 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Met my son for a quick lunch our welcome, service and food was spot on, great pizza's.

RS
London
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience1

Food was very poor - staff very nice but they are used to dealing with problems, you can tell.

SL
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were greeted and made very welcome at this restaurant. The food was excellent, especially the risotto. The lead waiter was exceptional, in terms of being polite. He made us feel like we were the only customers in there.

R
London
2 reviews
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great atmosphere, great staff, great food! Recommended for a catch-up with friends.

LD
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience1

We enjoyed the food but that was it. We were sat out of the way in a really odd secluded section and it felt like we had been put in the naughty corner. Our waiter was polite but unfortunately the service was a real challenge, each round of drinks took over 30 minutes to come and we had to ask for them at least three times before they arrived and it was difficult to get the waiters attention.

N
London
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and friendly staff. Restaurant has a very modern and chic vibe.

GN
Aberdeen
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Went to Hai Cenato before the Theatre to see Hamilton, Was quiet when we first went in but it quickly filled up and had a really good buzz about the place. We was there with my parents and 2 kids (10yr and 12yr) The guy who looked after us was very nice and engaged in the kids and made sure we all enjoyed ourselves. Food was really good, we had pizza, chicken salad and my dad had the fish which he said was superb. All in all a great place to go for food with a great atmosphere.

FC
London
20 reviews
Dined on 30 January 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Food was poor (both the burrata and the monkfish had a gritty feel, as though eg powdered spices had been used but not properly assimilated into whatever sauce was used), service was worse (waitress was a complete amateur and clearly needed training). On the plus side the pizzas other tables had looked and smelled amazing so we possibly just ordered badly.

CC
1 review
Dined on 29 January 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The tagliatelle was mediocre. The pasta wasn't al dente but raw and the polpette were dry.

H
London
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2020
Overall3food1service2ambience3

Ordered the spinach penne pasta with tender stems and mushrooms - no evidence of either !
Single house G&T £9

So far off value !

EC
London
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing food, great service and really nice desserts. Will visit again

KJ
1 review
Dined on 27 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and attentive service. Friendly staff. We had a lovely meal and cocktails here.

FD
Glasgow
1 review
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service was very friendly and food was surprisingly good. Overall a very good choice

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 24 January 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Ambience and service really good. No long waits and didn’t feel rushed either. Food was really good. Passion fruit sorbet is a little bit too tart but that’s personal preference. Would definitely recommend.

H
London
1 review
Dined on 22 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! Really speedy service, delicious food and the atmosphere is great. Highly recommend!

BH
London
23 reviews
Dined on 20 January 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Being a Jason Atherton brand, we had high hopes. The staff were friendly. We got our table in a quiet place. Great. We ordered 2 pasta dishes with meat balls and one risotto. The risotto was wonderful, creamy and tasty. The pasta dishes had been under the lamp too long while they were waiting for the risotto I guess. Plus if you put the meatballs on a tee, you could have done a par 3 with a 9 iron. However it tasted really nice. The place wasn't busy. It was disappointing to say the least and really doesn't do much for the Atherton brand.

NB
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrating my wife's birthday, we had a great experience at Hai Cenato. Having enjoyed a couple of cocktails upstairs in the Drunken Oyster, we took up our table downstairs in the restaurant - our original table was not suitable and we were swiftly moved to a lovely table by the window. Good selection of food on the menu, and this arrived in good time and was delicious. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Thanks to the friendly and helpful staff.

JR
London
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I booked Hai Cenato as it is near the Victoria Palace Theatre and we were seeing a play that evening. I am pleased that I chose Hai Cenato. We selected from the small menu and had a starter and main. The risotto was one of the best I have had, the texture and taste was very good. The mains pasta dish was very good, a lovely sauce. There was a lot of it so I am afraid that I could not finish the it. We were booked for 5.30pm and because the service was good, we had plenty of time to eat and stroll to the theatre. I would recommend Hai Cenato.

AB
1 review
Dined on 16 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pre-theatre menu. Delicious food and good value! Good for a first date and service swift and polite.

J
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat in Victoria. We had a long lunch. Pizza blanco and lamb for my coeliac friend. Service was excellent. Went upstairs after lunch for cocktails. Not many nice places in London where you can get 2 for £10. Highly recommended.