Italian restaurant Bucci
195 Balham High Road
London SW12 9BE
Nice cold Peroni beer
We had already tried Bucci, but it had been at lunchtime when pizzas are not available unfortunately. We enjoyed their set menus and finding this Italian restaurant in Balham was a quite nice discovery. Are the pizzas great as well?
Bucci pizza and calzone
There is a large choice of pizzas at Bucci, 19 to be precise! We decided on the Bucci pizza (tomato, mozzarella, parma ham, parmesan and rocket – £8.50) to try their specialty, and the Calzone tradizionale (tomato, mozzarella, ham and mushroom – £7.90) as we are into these folded pizzas. There are three different calzones, the other two being the Farcito (tomato, mozzarella, ricotta cheese and spinach – £7.90) and the Cantadino (tomato, mozzarella, roasted courgette, aubergine and peppers – £7.90), both vegetarian pizzas.
Other pizzas we were interested by were the Tonno (tomato, mozzarella, tuna, olives and cappers – £7.90), the Aldo pizza (tomato, mozzarella, ham, mascarpone cheese and radicchio -£8.10), the Caprinba (cherry tomato, mozzarella, asparagus, goat cheese and rocket – £8.50) and the Parmigiana (tomato, mozzarella, aubergines, peppers and olives – £8.10).
The calzone was quite a disappointment. It was not at all crispy, lacked flavour, and arrived leaking some fluid (presumably from the mushrooms). The filling was minimal, with much of the space inside taken up by hot air leaving you feeling as though you’ve only been half fed. It’s not a pizza I’ll try again, and doesn’t come close to Limoncello a short distance away down near Tooting Broadway.
The Bucci pizza by contrast, but also in absolute, was huge. Normally I can finish a pizza but here I had to leave some of it. Well, not that much as I managed to eat maybe 85% of it! While I found it good, it lacked something to make it memorable, probably because of the taste of the base or the lack of it too. At Pizzeria Rustica in Richmond with the pizza Buffalo which is similar the base is wonderfully crispy and the tomato sauce (added after the base has been cooked) feels incredibly fresh with little bits of tomato and herbs.
Cost and conclusion: it was £21.60 without service charge and it is not automatically added to the bill. A big grazie to Bucci for respecting their customers!
Compared to Double Espresso a few doors down, I think Double Espresso pizzas have a better base but the décor is a lot nicer at Bucci. Both have a friendly service. That said, if you are into pizzas, two tube stops away, not far from Tooting Broadway you have Limoncello which is probably the best pizzeria in the Balham and Tooting areas. If it is about Italian food other than pizza, Bucci is a decent choice with excellent and well priced meals. Click here for our previous review of Bucci. Other restaurants reviewed in the area are Lamberts, the Cattle Grid, and a little further Hope & Spice and Harrison’s.