Flour & Grape in Bermondsey: Authentic, unpretentious pasta dishes
Located in the desirable Bermondsey Street, Flour & Grape has taken over what used to be Antico, on the grounds of a former antique warehouse. Think high ceilings, exposed brickwork and filament bulbs. A combination of communal seating, high tables and a swanky bar taking centre stage, the setting is modern, sophisticated yet incredibly cosy.
Now onto the menu. Conveniently split out into aperitivi, small plates, pasta and post-pasta, you’re almost hand-held through the dining experience. So much so, that there’s even a wine suggestion for each dish.
Starting with the small plates, it’s recommended that three dishes are shared between two diners. The bruschetta, although a safe choice, did not disappoint. Sweet and tart tomatoes seasoned to perfection proving that simplicity always comes out on top. Next up were sweet slices of beetroot cutting through a creamy and indulgent homemade ricotta. And finally Cold Pork Tenderloin with Tonnato – not the most appetising to look at but the delicate flavours and authenticity of the dish were well worth a try.
Next up was the main event: the pasta. Again, it’s recommended that three pasta dishes are shared between two. This turned out to be plenty so make sure you arrive hungry – or just order two. The Roasted Pork Shoulder Tortelloni with Sage Butter was beautifully presented and melted in the mouth. However, it was slightly let down as the pasta was undercooked. Now for the Beef Short-rib Ragù Pappardelle. Full of body and hearty, meaty flavour, this dish encompassed everything you would hope for in a ragù but the richness took its toll after a few bites. And last but certainly not least was the Bucatini, a thick noodle-type pasta served with parmesan and black pepper. The creamy, salty parmesan sauce was perfectly balanced with a spicy kick of black pepper, proving again that even the simplest dishes prove to be a winner time after time. This was all accompanied by a glass of Chianti to complement the ragù and a glass of Soave Classico for the tortelloni.
To finish, we moved on to dessert – or post-pasta as it’s termed here. Like everything else on the menu, all of the desserts are homemade, right down to their carefully selected range of gelatos. We had the Passionfruit Gelato, which was sharp, sweet and made for a refreshing palate cleanser at the end of the meal. If you’re not yet done with indulging then go for the Hazelnut Budino topped with a layer of sea salt. Served in a modest tumbler glass, this was the definition of indulgence and sat somewhere between a custard and a mousse.
The food was extremely reasonable with small plates ranging between £2 and £7, pasta dishes starting at £7 and post-pasta dishes starting at £4. The service was excellent – attentive enough so that you were looked after but in no way feeling like you were being rushed out. Overall, the food was exquisite, bar the tortelloni being undercooked. If Flour & Grape set out to be an unpretentious and inviting restaurant serving up homemade, authentic, comforting pasta dishes, then they have certainly succeeded.
Alex Julie Woods
Photos: Scott Hobson-Jones
To book a table at Flour & Grape, 214 Bermondsey St London SE1 3TQ, call 020 7407 4682 or visit the website here.