Tavolino in Southwark: Italian flavours and a picture-postcard view
Described as a neighbourhood Italian bar and restaurant, Tavolino exudes an intimate and cosy charm with its contemporary and understated stylish interior. However, one thing that most definitely isn’t understated is the iconic view of Tower Bridge and the River Thames which can be enjoyed from the upstairs dining room and outdoor terrace. The dramatic backdrop sets the scene perfectly and we had high hopes that the food would be just as impressive.
Rest assured, we were in the safe hands of Louis Korovilas, former head chef at Bancone – the pasta bar responsible for the legendary Silk Handkerchiefs. This famed dish also makes an appearance on the Tavolino menu, much to my delight, along with a selection of sourdough pizzas, fresh pasta and Italian meat and fish options.
We started with a couple of cocktails: the refreshing Garden Bellini, made with strawberry, rhubarb and prosecco; and the special, a combination of vermouth infused with rosemary, El Dorado rum, almond cherry syrup and lemon juice.
For food, we kicked off with a wonderfully creamy burrata which was complemented with crunchy roasted hazelnuts, sweet black figs and a delicious dressing of red wine, orange juice and hibiscus.
We also had the Devon crab, served with a fluffy warm potato and ricotta salad. This melt-in-the-mouth starter was subtle in flavour and had a delicate consistency that was designed to be savoured.
As a main we went for for the beautifully tender chicken breast, marinated in black garlic and accompanied by fried polenta stuffed with Italian cheese and topped off with a portobello cream. A solid yet tasty plate that incorporated classic Italian flavours.
And naturally, we had to try a pasta course. We opted for the bucatini with Cornish scallops, saffron butter and chives. The simplicity of this dish let the flavour of the perfectly seared scallops speak for itself and this was further enhanced by a rich saltiness from the butter and herbs.
When it came to dessert, curiosity got the better of us as we threw aside traditional favourites such as tiramisu and chocolate mousse in favour of the polenta skillet cake, which was made to share. And we weren’t disappointed. The cake had a decadent sticky consistency that was infused with sweet and sour cherries and topped with caramelised white chocolate ice cream.
If you’re looking for hearty food that’s big on flavour then Tavolino has everything you need for a comforting and indulgent meal. And with a picturesque view that’s taken straight from a postcard, you certainly won’t be in a hurry to leave.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Alex Julie Woods
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at Tavolino, 2 More London Riverside London SE1 2DB, call 020 8194 1037 or visit their website here.