When two friends came over to London from Singapore on a holiday and we were racking our brains as to where we could have dinner together, a fourth friend suggested the Antico Restaurant in Bermondsey after hearing good things about it. So we got a table for four on a Wednesday night at 6.45pm.
While the menu isn’t extensive and they don’t do pizzas, there did seem to be a good variety on offer.
We decided to get smaller sized mains so that we could try a few of the starters, of which we settled on the Burruta Salad (£7), Beef Fillet Carpaccio (£9) and Nocellara Olives & Focaccia (£4).
The Beef Carpaccio was amazing. Fresh, thinly sliced beef lightly kissed with a dash of apple balsamic vinegar and topped with pine nuts, rocket leaves and parmesan shavings. The marriage of flavours sat very well with me indeed, and we all agreed this was the best of the three.
The Burrata nests on a bed of Sicilian Caponata, which is a stew made of aubergines and other vegetables. Though it didn’t blow us away, we all still enjoyed it.
The Focaccia had a nice crispy crust sprinkled with a dusting of sea salt, which added a nice saltiness to the bread. It was pretty rich and you could really taste the olive oil. A friend remarked that it was reminiscent of you tiao, or fried dough sticks, a common breakfast dish you find in Singapore (picture on right) which people eat on its own, with porridge, or with soy bean milk.
For mains, we all had pasta. Two of us ordered the Italian Sausage and Porcini Ragu Tagliatelle (£9), another had the Slow-roasted Duck Tortellini and Sage Butter (£9), while I had the Monkfish, Tomato, Chilli & Garlic Risotto (£10).
(PS. I do apologise for the crappy photos of the mains as night had fallen by then and the dim restaurant lighting just cast a reddish glow on everything.)
One thing that struck me was how flavourful each of the mains were. The taste of the Italian sausage ragu was a bit strong for my liking, though my two friends enjoyed it. The Duck Tortellini was good, with a rich flavour of duck and hints of sage butter. I was quite pleased with my Monkfish Risotto as well. Although the rice was a bit undercooked, the flavour of the monkfish shone through and imparted a freshness to the dish that you can only get with seafood. The monkfish went well with the tomato too, though I am perhaps a bit biased since I like tomato-based foods.
The portions of the mains were pretty decent, despite it being the small-sized serving. We were all especially surprised by the amount of risotto I got, it seemed more fit for a full-sized main than a small-sized one. I was definitely stuffed after eating it all.
We even got a bottle of red wine to go with the dinner on the waiter’s recommendation and it definitely enhanced the meal. We had the waiter recommend a red wine and he even let us try two of the reds before we decided.
So if you’re in the Bermondsey area and are craving some Italian food, why not head over to Antico?
Antico Restaurant and Bar
214 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ