Baccalà in Bermondsey: “Their passion for great wine and seafood is abundantly clear”
Named after the salt cod traditional to northern Italian cuisine, Baccalà, located on Bermondsey Street, is a sophisticated restaurant focusing on sea food, wine and seasonal ingredients.
It’s run by sommelier Fabio De Nicola and chef Moreno Polverini, both from Italy. Their passion and knowledge of great wine and superior produce is abundantly clear as soon as we walk through their doors and take a look at what’s on offer.
To keep things interesting, Tuesday to Friday provide the classic menu, with an oyster aperitivo available Wednesday to Friday from 12-6pm, and on Saturdays from 12 til 3pm it’s the Fisherman’s Lunch. The latter, a weekly changing three-course meal based on the freshest and most delicious things available from their supplier that day, is what we’ve come to try.
The restaurant itself is sleek and modern, nailing the industrial feel with exposed plumbing and muted colours without feeling cold or unfriendly. It’s a welcome sanctuary from the Saturday downpour.
In addition to a broad yet curated wine list, boasting near to 100 different bottles, is the olive oil menu. Some may be forgiven for thinking that olive oil is olive oil, but Baccalà shows that this is simply not the case. There are six different kinds to choose from, each with their own unique taste and characteristics. To be paired with great hunks of fresh sourdough bread, we’re given Gocce Di Frantoio, which is a vibrant green colour, beautifully bitter with slightly spicy notes, and Franci Bio Organic, which is yellow, more mild and has delightful artichoke-like flavours.
Once the bread has been dunked and devoured, it’s time to have some oysters. They’re not usually on the Fisherman’s Lunch but we’ve heard they’re a must-try. During lockdown, when restaurants were closed to the public, Baccalà sold them to passers-by, shucking them on Bermondsey Street, and they proved hugely popular – it’s easy to see why. These Irish shellfish are huge, elegant and as fresh as they come. All they need is a tiny zing of lemon and a dollop of their home made tomato sauce. It’d definitely be worth coming for the oyster aperitivo, as these are the crème de la crème.
For the starter it’s Salmon Tartare with Mango and Hemp Oil. The soft and subtle textures of the mango and the raw salmon are a great combination – it’s a delicately exquisite dish. The Fisherman’s Lunch is usually paired with a drink, and this week it’s St Austell’s Traditional Strong Cornish Ale, which goes really well with everything on the menu, managing to have a strong flavour whilst not overpowering any of the food.
For the main it’s Red Mullet, Onion Rings, Avocado. The meaty fish is cooked to perfection, and the vibrant red and green colours make it a truly lovely thing to behold. The crowd-pleasing onion rings add a welcome salty crunch to a very refined dish.
Baccalà really know their stuff when it comes to wine and fish, which is clear from this lunch alone. I’m really keen to return and try some of the exciting delights the à la carte menu has to offer, such as sea urchin spaghetti, roasted octopus and, of course, salted cod. From my one visit I know that every dish will be executed with the utmost care, flavour and expertise.
Photos: Courtesy of Baccalà
To book a table at Baccalà, Unit B3 194-204 Bermondsey Street London England SE1 3TQ, call 020 7407 5514 or visit their website here.