2 March 2007
380 Walworth Road
Tel: 020 7277 1991
CAMBERWELL IS possibly the last place you would expect to find an authentic Italian diner. However, La Luna is just that; 100 percent genuine Italia tucked amongst the chaos that is Walworth Road
You can't get more Italian than brother management team Nino and Salvatore Esposito. Start talking traditional Italian fare with either of the brothers and the home grown pride bursts from each sentence.
La Luna is a modest establishment with no flashy 'Euro cuisine' pretence. It's simply an unassuming ristauranto dishing up humble pizza pie and pasta just how you'd expect it in the old country. The food is something to write home about and the prices are more in line with something you'd expect in old Italia, not 'dear' old London town.
The brothers hail from southern Italy where food is not just sustenance but a way of life. Mama Espisito must have cooked up some fine food back home as the pair has an unwavering understanding of what makes a good home cooked meal. The first rules are clear; absolutely no frozen content and plenty of amore.
It's worth ordering a pizza at La Luna, if only to witness the intricacies of the pizza-making process. Set into the middle of the dining room, the pizza oven and preparation area allows diners to keep and eye on their pizza from start to finish. To check out the chef's techniques, I ordered a pescatora pizza and set myself within spying distance of the action.
Plenty of pizza chains have all the ingredients tucked away in the freezer, waiting to be defrosted upon your order, but the Espositos won't hear of it. Not even the dough is frozen. It might take a little longer but at the risk of sounding cliché, good things come to those who wait.
While my pizza took its time I stuck to the authentic experience and started out with a patriotic insalata tricolore. According to the espisito brothers, the secret to a great Italian salad is fresh imported mozzarella di bufala and tomatoes. It may have been Camberwell, but my taste buds were tricked into thinking I was much closer to the Mediterranean.
Prepared before my eyes and served up without too much of a wait, my pizza arrived as they should; generously topped and intact. That is, not sliced into easy hand-sized pieces but ready for me to attack at my own leisure with a knife and fork, the Italian way.
A visit to La Luna is a nice little trip that leaves the taste of Italy in your mouth without the hassles of international travel or leaving your carbon footprint behind. Unfortunately after it's done you'll have to step back into the madness of Walworth Road, but at least your stomach will be over the moon.
FOOD (1-5) 4
AMBIENCE (1-5) 3
PRICE VALUE (1-5) 4
DISABLED ACCESS NO
DISABLED TOILET NO
PRE BOOKING NO
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