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Review: Bombetta

Restaurant or Cafe

Station Approach, Snaresbrook, London, E11 1QE, United Kingdom

Pefect for a leisurely lunch, if you can find it

  • By SilverTraveller HMJ

    791 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • August 2019
  • Italian
  • Casual
  • Not Sure
  • £25 to £35
  • Wanstead, East London

111 people found this review helpful

Bombetta received good reviews on the Walthamstow Facebook Food and Drink page and, being on the Central Line, was ideally located for a birthday lunch for three. It was said to be just outside Snaresbrook tube station, but I’d have walked past it if my travelling companion hadn’t pointed it out. She’d read an online Grace Dent review in the London Evening Standard which said “So close, in fact, one could almost reach over your zucchini fritti and top up your Oyster card. Bombetta is squeezed into a strip of space more suited to a minicab office”. My other friend obviously hadn’t read the article and was a little late.

Originally, we were lunching on a Wednesday but changed the date having chosen Bombetta which only opens for lunch from Thursday to Sunday. We wondered whether this was too many days as during our four-hour lunch, there were only two other diners.

On arrival, we had the usual dilemma of where to sit in an empty restaurant. At the front, is a small conservatory with sliding roof panels, but we thought this might be too hot on a sunny day. Instead we settled on a table in what is essentially a long thin room with tables down one side and an open kitchen on the other. The décor is striking: stripped back wood, brightly coloured chandeliers (more later), and striking modern art on the walls.

The food is Italian Pugliese: no lasagne or pizza here thank you. From an extensive menu of small plates, priced between £5.50 and £12.50, we chose three to start with. We shared: orange cured, thinly sliced pork loin dusted in a parmesan type cheese, smoke burratina (similar to burrata/mozzarella) and croquetas with a spicy dip. All were excellent, especially when accompanied by a generously stacked plate of music paper bread, grissini and ciabatta drizzled with oil.

There are two pastas, two risottos and some meaty dishes, but I was there for their signature dish, ‘bombetta’, described as ‘succulent balls of grilled goodness from Puglia, cooked on a skewer and served with toasted bread drizzled with oil and salad’. I chose the spicy version, pork with mozzarella, spicy Nduja and spicy pancetta and was not disappointed with the salty balls which oozed cheese when cut.

The wine menu is as extensive as the list of sharing plates. From an Italian wine list our charming waitress could not explain why the house wine, the cheapest at £19.50, was Spanish. If you’re not careful, you could soon damage your wallet with wines increasing swiftly in price, the most expensive being £112.

I was too full for pudding but managed to find space for the ‘birthday treat’ of a full-size panna cotta beautifully decorated with edible flowers and a candle (fortunately there was no singing)!

The service was excellent with a very chatty Tabitha judging our leisurely pace and not rushing us to choose whilst we enjoyed catch up chat over a bottle of prosecco.

Bearing in mind we were still there at 5pm, dinner was obviously going to be busier than lunch with another two chefs donning their whites and several waiting staff arriving.

As well as the restaurant there is a deli to the side, which apparently imports Italian goods and supplies most of the restaurants in London. It’s open to the public on Saturday. We were also told that the fabulous chandeliers are imported from Milan.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • HMJ
    about 2 years ago
    Yes, DRSask, literally a fab find! When everyone said it was near the station, I don't think I'd realised just how near it was!
  • DRSask
    about 2 years ago
    This sounds like a fabulous find! I'll definitely keep it in mind the next time I'm in London. Thanks for the photos to help identify it!