Wednesdays is Orange Wednesdays. (I don’t feel I have to explain the significance of this)Therefore every Wednesday me and the boyfriend go and watch a film and when we emerge blinking into the harsh bright lights of Wandsworth’s South Side shopping centre, we always go in search of one thing- food!
Frequenting the area on an almost weekly basis (and the fact that I’m a pescetarian, therefore limiting my dining choice) meant that the option to sample new and exciting food was limited, and we often went to the same old restaurants. So imagine our excitement when a shiny new Italian opened just outside the shopping centre.
Last week, like ravaged zombies in search of blood, we dragged our carcasses to Rossopomodoro within the first few days of its opening.
Welcoming us in from the rain, the head waiter was friendly and attentive, showing us to a table right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. He then courteously explained that all the food was of the finest Neapolitan quality, before recommending a few of the specials they had on offer.
The place itself seemed quite modern with its high ceilings, mismatched (but oh so trendy) chairs, silver beams and chequered flooring. It reminded me of being in a large urban loft or a converted barn, but the smells of garlic and basil wafting through from the open plan style of kitchen transported me to a traditional homely kitchen deep in the heart of Naples.
So it was a great disappointment that after such a promising start, the service let them down. The main thing was the timing- the food took far too long to come. My companion (when he could get anyone’s attention) had to twice enquire after our food, and although they were busy, this was not on.
But all credit to our waiter who offered us a million sincere apologies and we appreciated that the restaurant was still trying to find its feet.
Starter- I had the Bruschetta to start and I must say I was quite disappointed. My ciabatta was charred and tough to eat and I felt that the dish was lacking something. Yes, I understand that bruschetta is a simplistic dish, but I felt that chopped tomatoes on burnt bread with a basil leaf was a little below par.
On the other hand my date had the Calamari and he it stated it was the best he had tasted in a long time outside a Spanish restaurant. Being a proud Spaniard, he makes a point of sampling every Calamari dish in any restaurant that offers it. This particular one came with deep fried courgettes which was a delicious and unusual twist to this classic dish. He also said that it was generously sized and well presented- so that’s a big thumbs up!
Main- I’m definitely gonna sound like a moaning Minnie now, but I’m afraid to say that I didn’t enjoy my main either. My choice of the Aglio e Olio (spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli flakes) was a mistake. Why? Because it was dry. Ok, so it did exactly what it said on the tin- it literally was spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli- nothing more, nothing less.
However, for a dish that took forever to come, it was such a letdown. It seemed lifeless and boring and not the exciting Italian dish I hoped it would be. Saying that, the infusion of garlic and chilli worked well and wasn’t too overpowering, which can only be a good thing.
My companion was having better luck with his food (or maybe he’s not as fussy as me?) and thoroughly enjoyed his “perfectly cooked and oven-hot” Cannellone. The menu described it as: “Baked baby cannellone pasta stuffed with buffalo ricotta cheese and minced beef with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese”. This dish not only looked yummy but it smelt it too and I couldn’t help feel a pang of jealousy as I picked over my dry pasta.
Drinks- By this point I was far too peeved to want dessert (probably an unwise choice as chocolate is the cure for everything), so I’ll talk about the drinks instead. For some reason I never drink alcohol when I go out to dinner, so I just had the cloudy apple juice which was refreshing and the perfect thing to cool down the mouth when the heat of the chilli flakes ever so slightly lingered on my tongue.
My companion had the Birra Moretti beer which he noted was of high quality and not too heavy, unlike those in other restaurants. In my expert opinion it looked thirst quenching and quite beery. Yes I said beery- deal with it!
Ok, so I may have moaned quite a bit about the slowness and my food, but to be honest it wasn’t as bad as I made out. Our waiter was extremely polite and kindly invited us to the launch party the following night.
I think that as a new restaurant, they just need a little time to settle and they’ll soon be running like clockwork. After all, Rossopomodoro has 6 other branches, so there is little doubt of their success.
Would I return? Yes, I would in a few months. The atmosphere was lively and the staff warm and welcoming- next time I’ll just choose my dishes more wisely!
Tel- 0203 2892970
Address- 46 Garratt Lane London, SW18 4TF