13 Station Parade, Balham High Road
SW12 9AZ London
Reviewed on Tuesday 9 June 2009
Inside the restaurant
The first things you see when you enter in Double Espresso are the cakes in the refrigerated display. After all this place is also a coffee place and it can be nice to sit outside on the large sidewalk. The restaurant is not very big. It is dominated by a large counter and on top of it there is a TV. The atmosphere is very relaxed: I like it. It looks as though the place is family owned.
As starters we ordered the Involtini Di Prosciutta (melted mozzarella cheese wrapped in slices of parma ham – £6) which was amongst the specials of the day, and a Formaggio Di Capra Grigliato (grilled goat’s cheese on toasted bread and mixed grilled veg – £5.50). They were followed by two pizzas: a pizza Double Espresso (made of mozzarella, tomato, prawns, basil, blue cheese and garlic – £8.50) and a pizza Fiorentina (£7.20). The red wine was a Merlot Malbec 2007 from Distant Land in New Zealand (£20) which was quite enjoyable.
The melted mozzarella were quite good, and the slices of parma ham were slightly crispy and fortunately not too dry. The salad was a good addition to them. It was “only” three pieces but they were quite filling so you are warned! The goat cheese could just have used a little extra virgin olive oil to set it off. As it was, it was just a little bland.
The pizzas were made of an extremely thin base. We like that. From where we were we could see the pizzaiolo preparing them. He was nice enough to invite us to take a photo closer when he noticed we were taking photos As it was their “home” pizza I chose the Double Espresso. I have to say I was not too sure about the mix between prawns and blue cheese but hey, only one way to find out! Actually it was a pretty good pizza. The prawns were big enough to have a taste and the blue cheese was not too strong. I wished the garlic was stronger but I am a garlic fan. The Fiorentina was good, with the egg perfectly cooked: still liquid but not running. It lacked some flavour though. We finished the meal with two Limoncello.
Involtini Di Prosciutta
Formaggio Di Capra Grigliato
Overview of the two starters. The bottle of red wine was a NZ Merlot Malbec 2007 from Distant Land.
Preparing the pizza!
Pizza Double Espresso "raw"
On its way to the oven! Nice pizzaiolo!
Cooked pizza Double Espresso
Cost and conclusion: it was just under £60 with service charge included. Considering we had two starters, two pizzas, a bottle of wine that was not cheap and two Limoncello (served wonderfully cold) it is good value for money. The food was good, the service friendly: it is a very decent option if you are in the area, and it is much better than Cattle Grid located on the other side of Balham train station.