Category Archives: Italian

Padella – Borough Market

20160428_184239From the most excellent dudes and dudettes who brought you Trullo in Highbury & Islington comes London’s latest stupid-buzzy, Insta-meltdown, no-bookings sensation. Located on the edge of the main entrance to Borough Market, Padella – an understated white tile and marble pasta bar has a queue round the block, come rain or shine. Having opened in March, its “pici cacio e pepe” pasta looked like the month’s most Instagrammed food item – and where this kind of plate obsession normally has me bitching like a 2 year old whose ice-cream fell onto the pavement, I can see why. Continue reading


Roberto Petza, Cooking with Coffee and Great Italian Chefs

IMG_20160316_214035I had the pleasure of meeting and cooking with the delightfully sweet and brilliant Sardinian Chef, Roberto Petza of Michelin-starred restaurant S’Apposentu in an evening organised by Great Italian Chefs. His restaurant resides in Siddi, a peaceful, bounteous, mountainous paradise in the centre of the island – far from the tourist hordes and better known beach resorts – a calm tranquil and earthy terrain dotted with sheep and donkeys and fertile soils giving rise to a wild array of native herbs and vegetables of which Roberto makes stars on his menus. Continue reading

Bocca di Lupo – Soho


Bocca di Lupo is a hard place to get a reservation in, even two years after opening. Saturday nights get booked a couple of months in advance, not helped by Antonio Carluccio declaring it his “favourite Italian in Soho” on the Good Food show a few weeks back. Continue reading

Bacco – Tourist Trap all’Italiana

Boring interior for boring food

Few of us are not guilty of the desperate, heavy-limbed slump into a tourist rip-off joint on the central squares of any major capital. Especially after a full day’s schlepping. That convenient, if slightly sticky, plastified picture menu that saves you the embarassment of misordering. The tantalising “€10 set menu”. The waiter’s ninja arm-wrestle that yoinks you into the premises whether you were headed there or not (Brussels is particularly good at this). Most of all, the flaccid, browning salad and rubbery pizza that awaits, like a slice of Satan’s slipper reheated in the microwave of Mount Doom. If you’re missing that particular holiday experience, I suggest you head to Bacco straight away. Continue reading

Risotto ai frutti di mare – Seafood Risotto

Risotto ai Frutti di Mare

On my recent trip to Rome, I took advantage of the local fishmonger selling “seafood risotto” mix by weight, a delicious mix of calamari, muscles, clams salmon and hake. I’d make roast seabass the day before so made a good strong fish stock form the bones and some leftovers of fennel, celery and carrots and some crushed fennel seeds and flat leaf parsley. Continue reading

ROME: “Al Bric” – A bric-à-brac of random food.

Cheesy Wonderfulness!

Al Bric just off of Campo dei Fiori in Rome is an enoteca I have walked past for four years of my life longing to go in, lured perhaps by the fantabulous selection of ultra-mature oozy French cheeses, crumbly Italian “stagionati”, the dusty collection of prize vintage wines vying for position in the window from Pétrus and  Mouton Rothschild to some Amarone that would knock your socks and feet off… I had never actually set foot in the place though until this week when I finally convinced Francesco that spending €15 for a glass of wine was just plain intelligent. Continue reading

ROME: A Kosher Lunch in the Ghetto

I met with my friend Sarah who conveniently is both a food blogger, an experienced tour guide AND a fully qualified sommelier in Rome – could you ask for a better person to ask for a good lunch recommendation?

We headed to Piazza Mattei and the surrounds, Rome’s Jewish ghetto, host to a handful of top notch trattorias and restaurants as well as the day school which at 1.30 was breaking up for the day hence a street filled with camper vans full of kids and a choice of kippahs (the round head covering Jewish men wear) that included several advertising the local eating places. Continue reading