After getting my Mac fixed and a trip to Ikea (why not, like) instead of having the usual köttbullar at Ikea,we were on the way to this unassuming place in Canton on Cowbridge Road East, following the review from Gourmet Gorro. The aesthetics of the place, make the place even more special to me, with its slightly tacky brick effect wallpaper and clocks with a mug of coffee on them, you’d expect to see at B&M Bargains, it totally adds to the charm of the place. Beneath the Ikea bistro chairs and the ropey Italian power ballads playing on the stereo, this joint is serving phenominal food.
Walking in at around 7ish, it was already packed with families celebrating birthdays, couples celebrating new jobs, luckily we were able to get a seat.
The staff (all Italian) greeted us and asked what would we like to drink, Myself and the Mr ordered two bottles of Peroni Rossa whilst we perused the menu (and taking a note from Gourmet Gorro’s book I also ordered a can of Chinotto – the amazing bitter Italian soda.
Scanning the menu, we quickly knew what we wanted and ordered…
To start we had the Aranccino Bolognese. Amazing deep fried, pockets of risotto, ragu and cheese (so much cheese!) in a golden crispy jacket, they were huge! At first we thought we screwed up by ordering two, but I’m a greedy bugger and we managaged to finish them.
Next, was the main.
Pizza, the signature dish of the place.
I ordered the Campagnolo, an earthy mix of mushrooms, Italian sausage, peppers and weirdly cooked iceberg lettuce (it worked, somehow). Tom ordered the Milano, punchy and creamy with mozzarella, Milano salami and Strachino cheese.
Whilst we waited for the pizzas to be made, the lads entered the restaurant. Presumably family of the owners or friends, or something, but they came in chatted, one charged his phone next to us, then left… you couldn’t have made it up, was imagining they’d sit outside chatting and eating like they were at Satriale’s.
Our 14” pizzas (they don’t some in any other size) came shortly afterwards and oh my! They were so big, and thin, and mmmmm. The fennel seeds in the sausage popping, with each bite releasing their anise-tinged goodness and the lettuce, giving a nice bitterness, we had to ask to ‘doggy bag’ it up for us, so we had room for dessert!
Too full for a dessert each, we decided to share one. With my love for pistachios, when an opportunity arises to have something made from the nut of the Gods, well I just had to 😉
A pistachio mille feuille, the buttery flaky pastry, the gorgeous pistachio and mascarpone filling topped with chantilly cream and chopped pistachios. It was almost a Meg Ryan moment, I tell ya!
With some time for our food to settle we decided on a little something to cap off our lovely evening. Tom ordered a latte, and myself a digestivo of Limoncello (again- pistachos & lemon anybody 😉 ) Having a sip of Tom’s coffee. It was amazing, so deep and smooth. I could tell this was good coffee not some burned crap from Starbucks (and this is coming from a guy who historically has hated coffee)….well I’m growing to like it now, but I’d still say I’m a tea man, myself.
When we asked for the bill we thought it would be at least 50 quid for the quality of food, but £36 quid is all that it came to!
We really need to go here again, and if anybody is near here, it would be silly not to pop in.