Bombetta, Snaresbrook

I recently visited Puglia, so I was delighted to hear about Bombetta, who are bringing this Southern Italian cuisine to London.


The restaurant is located in Snaresbrook, just seconds from the tube station. The name, ‘Bombetta’, refers to a traditional Puglian dish of wrapped meatballs. The farm workers would get the meat from the local butchers before returning home to wrap the meat with cheese and cured meat, cook it and share with the community.

Bombetta has a lovely relaxed neighbourhood feel, with colourful pictures on the walls and Italian produce adding to the fun decor. I was visiting for lunch with one of my oldest pals, also a keen foodie, and we arrived ravenous and ready for a feast.


The menu is split into several categories, and considering the small size of the restaurant, I was impressed with the assortment of dishes. Our first course arrived gradually: plump green olives, salty rich pig’s head on toast, gooey indulgent burrata with sun-dried tomatoes and pesto and tender slices of veal with anchovy sauce. It was a joy to have a table of contrasting dishes to pick at, and I imagine the tapas style of dining would particularly suit a big group of friends eating together. A wine flight of Puglian organic wines matched the flavours and captured the mood of the meal.


Main courses were rather more substantial… The perfectly cooked orecchiette pasta (a classic Puglian variety) with wild mushrooms and truffle butter was moreish and delicious, a comforting and Autumnal recipe which led us to fight over the final mouthfuls.

Make sure you leave space for the Bombette; we tried the Pork with spicy pancetta, scamorza, nduja and basil, flavoursome and spicy meat served with toast and fresh salad.


The pannacotta with basil sorbet and figs was a light and refreshing dessert. A few hours of eating, drinking and gossiping later and we were ready to make the lengthy journey back to central London. For those that live nearby I imagine Bombetta is a real asset to the area, for me it was a pleasant reminder of my blissful few days on the Italian coast.

More information and book a table at Bombetta here.

Dirty Bones, Shoreditch

The new Dirty Bones in Shoreditch is a grown-up, more glamorous alternative to the other branches in Kensington and Soho, though there is still a hit of grunge in the dark decor and DJ set up. The all-American restaurant has taken over a gorgeous Grade-II listed building in central Shoreditch and has smart leather seating and a glitzy bar to lure you in. Known for their strong cocktails and indulgent menu of US classics, the offering here has all the same recipes with a few extra dishes (like Cheeseburger Dumplings) added.

Dirty Bones Shoreditch

I visited on a Monday lunchtime, bringing along my brother to help with the inevitable feasting. Totally overwhelmed by the large menu we let the waiter pick his favourites for our meal. His choices were flawless, a nice mix of meat and veggie dishes which complemented eachother well. Our favourites included the Beef Short Rib with salted caramel & burnt onion sauce, crispy shallots and spring onions. The tender meat fell easily off the bone coated in a sticky sweet-smoky sauce and topped with tangy spring onions. The blissfully simple but wonderfully tasty Crispy Lamb Fries were also a hit, flavoured with a spicy sauce and a hint of miso with a scattering of crunchy lamb bites.

Dirty Bones Shoreditch

I was beginning to tire of burgers, until I ate ‘The Mac Daddy’ an extravagant bun filled with a 6oz patty, pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and homemade BBQ sauce. Juicy and moist with a rich cheesy sauce, it was as good as it looks.

For dessert I recommend ordering the Milk & Cookies, a simple pudding with a chewy chocolate cookie and refreshing creamy milk ice-cream. We loved all the cocktails that were put in front of us, but the winner had to be ‘Mutt’s Nuts’, a perfectly balanced short drink with Woodford Reserve bourbon, cinnamon & vanilla infused maple syrup, Angostura bitters, lemon and apple.

Visit Dirty Bones for a quiet weekday lunch to really relish the food, or head there at the weekend when the music adds a fun atmosphere to the venue.

More information and book a table here.

Leo Carreira at Climpson’s Arch

Climpson’s Arch has played host to a range of promising young chefs. The industrial area in East London offers a platform for creative, culinary ideas without the huge start-up costs that new restaurateurs have to consider. Consequently the venue is popular with keen foodies and with locals who value good grub, reasonable prices and a relaxed environment.

Leo Carreira is currently taking up the residency at Climpson’s Arch, serving customers with authentic and tasty Portuguese dishes. Recipes like Smoked Octopus in broth and Grilled Bisaro Ribs feature as favourites, though depending on produce and season there is always something new to try. I loved the Grilled Soaked Brioche with caramel and hazelnuts for pudding, proving that Portuguese is a broader cuisine than many believe.

Considering the makeshift nature of the kitchen, Leo presents food that is simple but sophisticated with a deliciously unique wine list to match.

More information about Climpson’s Arch here.