Dark wood, low warm lighting and staff that welcome you like you’re an old friend — that’s what Megan finds walking into Macellaio’s.

For a restaurant  in the centre of Soho, Macellaio’s atmosphere is rather unusual, and I mean this in the best way possible. It’s warm and homely, without dropping any part of the elegance that makes this restaurant notable.

Upon entering, we were led upstairs to the long, wooden bar as we were here to test out Macellaio’s Mocktail Masterclass.

The class consisted of a fun demonstration from the bar manager, the chance to make a mocktail, followed by a three course dinner and two more cocktails made by the manager and delivered to the table.

Let’s backtrack: we started by sampling the non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip, which was going to be the base of all the mocktails. We then tested garnishes and ingredients, before moving onto the making.

I was invited behind the bar to make the first drink, instructed by the manager who was truly fantastic the entire evening. He led everyone through the components of cocktail-making, explaining everything clearly, and with a joke or two added in for good measure.

After adapting cocktails to suit our specific tastes, we then headed to the table and presented with a set menu from which we could choose from a selection of three dishes for each of the three courses.

We opted for starters of burrata genovese and a beef carpaccio. As Macellaio are specialists in Italian steak, we expected big things from the carpaccio and it did not disappoint. 

Confident in the quality of their Fassona beef, the chef’s leave the meat to speak for itself, amplifying it slightly with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. 

Burrata has become one of those dishes that seems to appear on every menu, but with many places not doing it justice, however, Macellaio’s knows how to make the most out of this creamy, delicious cheese.

Paired with a pesto that had a good, nutty punch to it, the burrata oozed over the garlic croutons which provided a necessary crunch to the dish; plus the sun dried tomatoes added an acidity that balanced out the richness. 

We couldn’t take a trip to Macellaio’s without trying out the steak – after all, they call themselves the ‘butchery with tables’. Cuts of their Fassona beef decorate the restaurant and raw steaks are wheeled up to your table so diners can select the cut which appeals to them the most. 

While the steak on the masterclass menu didn’t include this additional theatricality, it was still presented with an air of finery. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare, the Lady Steak came sliced and fanned out across the plate, accompanied with a side of rocket and shaved parmesan. 

The beef was soft, tender and almost spoke of the butchery expertise; it did fall slightly below expectations in flavour, simply because the beef was overshadowed by a little too much salt.

If you’re not a fan of steak or a vegetarian, the pesto trofie pasta is an absolute must. The chefs truly prove their Italian professionalism with this dish – perfectly al dente; pesto that makes the jarred supermarket versions in the fridge taste like grass; and nutty parmesan to compliment it all. Pure Italian heaven.

Speaking of heaven: the tiramisu. I always say that you can’t go to an Italian restaurant without trying their tiramisu and wow this one was a good one. Creamy, indulgent, with a decent amount of alcohol soaked into the sponge – it really is the only way to finish a meal like this. 

After demolishing my dessert in roughly three mouthfuls, the final mocktail was needed just to give myself enough time to digest and save the rest of the restaurant from seeing me waddling towards the exit. 

Each mocktail was unique and had clearly been planned with a level of expertise (and really, you can’t expect anything less from somewhere like Macellaio’s). 

While they might not have been the prettiest mocktails out there, they were certainly delicious, refreshing and the whole masterclass brought an enjoyable twist to a fine evening meal. 

84 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LQ