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Pizzeria Sette Bello, 8 Amen Corner, Tooting, London
May 4th, 2009 by Olivier

Pizzeria Sette Bello
8 Amen Corner, Tooting
SW17 9JE London
0871 3327080

Pizzeria Sette Bello

Reviewed on Monday 4 May 2009 evening

Pizzeria Sette Bello

Pizzeria Sette Bello

Reading great reviews about this pizzeria, I tried to have a lunch there several weeks ago to find out it is mostly (only?) open during the evening. If it happens it is closed, you can always go to Limoncello located two minutes walk from it (review of Limoncello). They also have good pizzas.

Some huge bottles of wines against the wall

Some huge bottles of wines against the wall

Back to Setto Bello now :-) It is located five minutes walk from Tooting Broadway. The restaurant is made of one large room and is decorated with bottles on the walls and also pictures, including family photos. There is a great atmosphere and it is very family friendly. It is nice to find an authentic Italian restaurant in that area where curry restaurants are the norms. The prices are low compared to other pizzerias I know. Pizzas are aroud £6-£7, you can get veal with cream for about £12 and desserts were around £3 something. Unfortunately the receipt is not detailled. A bottle of a red house wine (a 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo) was around £10.

Red house wine

Red house wine

We ordered two pizzas: a Calzone (ham, cheese, tomato) and a Fiorentina (mozzarella, tomato, spinach, egg, parmesan and garlic). The calzone was absolutely massive and it was not because it was the second time I was eating out today. It was good but the pizza base was too soft for my liking: it feels a little too much like bread. I like when it is crispy outside, soft inside. Still, the base was good and all the ingredients were good too. Next time I will just ask to cook it a little longer, even if it gets slightly burnt. The fiorentina had also the same little problem: too soft, no crisp at all. Toppings and the egg were good. The chilli oil was very nice and it was indeed spicy which surprised us as a real good spicy olive oil is becoming rare.

Fiorentina

Fiorentina

Pizza Calzone

Pizza Calzone

The wine was good, dry enough and going well with the pizzas.
We took for desserts a so-called strawberry sorbet that turned out to be ice cream (too sweet for us) and a vanilla ice cream with coffee and amaretto (nice, the coffee and amaretto were good at counterbalancing the sweetness from the vanilla ice cream).
We ended with an espresso and a double espresso and they were fine.

Vanilla ice cream with coffee and amaretto. In the background the so-called strawberry sorbet that turned out to be ice cream

Vanilla ice cream with coffee and amaretto. In the background the so-called strawberry sorbet that turned out to be ice cream

Cost and conclusion: two pizzas, a bottle of red wine, two desserts and two espressos for £33.95 (with optional service charge to add) is a good value for money. The pizzas were good but we feel they could have been exceptional if cooked a little longer so they would be crispy. They were not crispy at all. The service was nice but the single waiter was a little overloaded doing all the service so it took a good 5 minutes to get the chilli oil (through the owner who was helping the waiter). We will certainly be back.

Pizzeria Sette Bello on Urbanspoon

Belgo Clapham, 44 – 48 Clapham High Road, London SW4 7UR
May 4th, 2009 by Olivier

BIERODROME Belgo Clapham
44 – 48 Clapham High Road
London SW4 7UR

Belgo Clapham

Reviewed on Monday 4 May 2009

Belgo Clapham

Belgo Clapham

Having studied in Brussels for several years I was interested to eat at the Belgo restaurant. It is a chain and there are a few in London. They are specialised into moules & frites (fries), a little like Léon de Bruxelles chain you find in France. The place is divided into two areas: the restaurant and the pub. We tried the restaurant at lunch time.

Overview of the restaurant room

Overview of the restaurant room

The restaurant is a large room with nothing special. It could be a hospital canteen. It does not have the charm of an old pub, but it is spacious. I do not believe the staff are from Belgium – they certainly did not speak French or Dutch between themselves.
As starters we ordered the grilled goats cheese served on a crouton with roquette, roast peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and walnut dressing (£5.95) and a warm salad of smoked bacon, shredded duck, eggs & black pudding with garlic croutons and a Dijon mustard dressing (£5.95). There are other interesting starters like the very Belgian croquettes with cheddar, gruyère & Orval beer cheese served with piccalilli & salad garnish (£4.95) or King prawns pan-fried in garlic, chilli, ginger & herb butter (£6.95).
The grilled goats cheese looked too burnt but they were in fact excellent. They were not overcooked and the taste was good. The warm salad was very very average. The smoked bacon, the shredded duck or the black pudding were just too tiny bits to be able to taste them well. The slices of black pudding had the size of a nail. They were also overcooked. I found the croutons too greasy. At least the eggs were fine.

Grilled goats cheese

Grilled goats cheese

Warm duck salad

Warm duck salad

Enlarge photo of the salad. Too tiny bits of meat: see the size of the lentil to compare.

Enlarge photo of the salad. Too tiny bits of meat: see the size of the lentil to compare.

The two starters

The two starters

For the main courses we both decided on the moules marinière (steamed with white wine, garlic, cream, celery & onion – £10.95). They call it a “Kilo pot” main course and it comes with frites. You can get mussels in 1/2 kilo pot as starter for £5.95. If you do not want to eat mussels, you have Belgian meals like the beef carbonnade (beef braised in sweet Gueuze beer with apples & plums, served with frites – £9.95) that I know by its French name “carbonnade flamande”.

Frites with mayonnaise & moules marinières

Frites with mayonnaise & moules marinières

Moules marinières

Moules marinières

The moules were overcooked. It is a pity because mussels are very easy to cook, but it is also very easy to mess them. Some mussels I had were still closed despite being steamed. Not good then. The sauce/soup was good, not too salty as happens sometimes. It was upsetting because it could have been a decent lunch had the moules not been overcooked.
As drinks, we of course chose Belgian beers! To start, it was two Jupiler (£7) and then we had a De Konick blond (£4.25) and a Delirium Tremens (£4.85). The beers were all great, just as well.

A good Jupiler beer!

A good Jupiler beer!

De Konick blond beer

De Konick blond beer

Delirium Tremens beer with its dedicated glass too :-)

Delirium Tremens beer with its dedicated glass too :-)

Cost and conclusion: it was £56.13 with the 12.5% “optional” service charge already included to the bill. I prefer to add the service charge myself than having it already added, especially since we were not too happy about the service. The waitress serving us was ok but she was, for example, waiting for me to finish my glass of beer so she could empty the bottle and take it. I prefer to keep the beer in its bottle until I want to drink it. So a little pushy service even if it seemed without the wish to be annoying. We think she just did not realise it. Our experience today was not great, but it could have been better if the mussels were cooked correctly. At least one starter was excellent and the beers saved the lunch.

Belgo on Urbanspoon


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