28 April 2008
52 Southwark Park Road
Bermondsey, SE16 3RS
0871 332 8619
Mediterranean in the heart of Bermondsey
By David Yuill
THIS Mediterranean haven in the heart of residential Bermondsey allows you to forget about the hustle and bustle outside, with some truly fine dining that would not look out of place in the backstreets of Rome or Milan.
Despite lurking in the sleepy shadows of the Harris Girls’ Academy at the quiet end of the Blue, the popular little Italian has a real professional touch, from the food to the fine detail of candles and gentle soothing background music.
It has proved to be a proper hit with the locals and boasts the best home-made cooking for many a mile, at the hands of a real food-lover who is not afraid to be adventurous with her dishes.
There is a real siesta feel to the place as the missus and I knock on the door a little before opening time. The restaurant is open for lunch from 12.30 until 2.30 and re-opens for dinner at 7'o'clock sharp from Tuesday to Saturday.
We are shown to our table and offered a fine bottle of eau minerale, courtesy of the Bermondsey Spa (tap water) and feel a little lonely as the only bodies in the little orange eaterie.
By the time we have met the delightful chef and she offers us a wide selection of starters to whet our appetite, rather than just one or two of the beauties, the place is buzzing with well-to-do business types.
My more observant companion pointed out the two tables with solo-diners - a sure sign of good food when people come in alone, I assured her.
It was not long until we got to taste the proof of the pudding for ourselves.
No less than six small starters arrived in good time and I could spend a page and a half describing each one.
The razor shell clams (£6.50) in a parsley and white wine sauce served on a bed of linguine were phenomenal. But the delicate home-cured salmon (£5.50) on a bed of black rice was the pick of the bunch from a host of the best appetizers I have had in a very long time.
As we waited for the mains, we joked that they had some work to do to top the starters, as the tastebuds went in to meltdown. My lemon drizzled whole roast baby chicken (£11.00) came with roasted vegetables and tasted fantastic.
While in Rome was her motto of choice as she opted for the grilled sardines (£13.50) with caponata and baby spinach. Once we’d hastily removed the heads - she thoroughly enjoyed their fresh taste and had to be forced to give me a bite.
While full of taste and a great mix of ingredients, both dishes would struggle to fill if eaten on their own, so the volume of starters made up for it.
That only left room for some fine desserts. I am a massive fan of home-made Italian ice-cream (£3.50) - as the waistline confirms - and was thoroughly impressed with the generous helping, while the spiced plums on a grilled brioche (£4.00) across the table was naughtily nice.
Full to the brim with beaming smiles as we walked away with nothing but compliments - though not such a secret anymore - it is strongly recommended for a treat or special occasion, but maybe not too often.
Selection of starters £13
Baby Chicken with roasted vegetables £11
Fresh sardines with caponata £13.50
Glass of white wine x 2 £7
FOOD (1-5) 5
AMBIENCE (1-5) 4
PRICE VALUE (1-5) 4
DISABLED ACCESS YES
DISABLED TOILET NO
No comments have been posted.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale