Bombetta, Snaresbrook

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

BombettaBombetta

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.

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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.

BombettaBombetta

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.

Bombetta

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.

Weekend Brunch at Theo’s Simple Italian

At the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Hotel Indigo Kensington for a taste of the new Theo’s Simple Italian weekend brunch menu. This stylish, contemporary hotel is conveniently tucked away minutes away from Earl’s Court station, but feels sheltered from the tourist trail.

Theo's Simple ItalianTheo's Simple Italian

The restaurant, Theo’s Simple Italian, is bright and modern with patterned floors and colourful furniture, an Instagrammer’s dream. The group of bloggers wandered round, with Bellini’s in hand, taking photos of every detail.

Theo's Simple Italian

Before the feast began we had the chance to watch the master chef at work, as he demonstrated how to make the best homemade pasta. I few tips I took away from the lesson: smaller eggs tend to have brighter better yolks, buy a pasta machine from Imperia (£40 on Amazon), cook the pasta al dente and finish cooking in with the sauce. As a pasta lover myself I volunteered to help with the ravioli making, I vowed to myself to spend more time mastering the techniques at home.

Theo's Simple ItalianTheo's Simple Italian

The new brunch menu is designed for sharing. Priced at £35 per person it includes a glass of prosecco on arrival, an anti-pasti platter, a dish of fresh pasta or risotto, a seasonal meat or fish dish and dessert.

Highlights for me included the creamy burrata with proscuitto di Parma, Pappardelle con ragu di manzo (slow cooked beef in Chianti and San Marzano tomatoes) and Theo’s famous, vibrant yellow, Amalfi lemon tart, which lasted barely a minute on our table! The whole meal was paired with delicious Italian wines, carefully chosen by the sommelier.

Good, relaxed Italian food is not easy to find in London, but Theo Randall ticks every box with this generous and flavoursome brunch. Book a room at Hotel Indigo so you can enjoy a European siesta after gorging on the wonderful Italian cuisine.

More information and book a table here.

Casa Tua, King’s Cross

Following the success of the Camden branch, Casa Tua has recently opened up in the King’s Cross area. The cafe is located on Cromer Street, a quiet neighbourhood road that feels far removed from the chaos of the nearby station. This family run restaurant offers visitors authentic Italian cuisine, using the best ingredients from Italy.

Casa Tua Kings Cross

On sunnier days guests can soak up the rays on the outdoor tables, or for date nights there is a cosier downstairs area. When I visited on a Friday lunchtime the venue seemed popular with professionals working nearby, which makes sense as there are plenty of quick, reasonably priced options on the menu.

Casa Tua Kings Cross

The decor is eclectic and fun with quirky memorabilia displayed around the cafe. Plenty of windows give the cafe a light and airy feel, ideal for those wishing to read or get some work done. These thoughtful touches make the space feel homely encouraging diners to relax and unwind.

Casa Tua Kings Cross

The presence of sunshine made it acceptable for me to order an Aperol Spritz at lunchtime… just to get into the Italian spirit. Casa Tua also offer a tempting wine list with high quality wines from Italy.

Casa Tua Kings Cross

The menu is brief with a range of ciabatta sandwiches, homemade artisan pastas and antipasti snacks. Each day a couple of specials add a seasonal vibrancy to the menu. We chose courgette and saffron penne pasta and, my favourite, the tortelloni stuffed with pork and served with tomatoes and ricotta, absolutely delicious. Burratina salad was simple but tasty, with wonderfully creamy cheese and sweet tomatoes.

Casa Tua Kings Cross

Full from the savoury feast we opted for little pistachio pastry bites (from the Puglia region) to have with our coffees. The sweet, nutty snacks was the perfect ending to our relaxed Italian lunch.

More information about Casa Tua here.