The early reviews of Snaresbrook’s new star restaurant Bombetta are coming in, and they are good.
Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard’s legendary reviewer, seemed very impressed with the place, writing:
The restaurant is the creation of Ben Milne and his wife Joanna Anastasiou Milne, who own The Chef’s Deli, a wholesale supplier of cheeses and salume to the restaurant trade, which occupies part of the premises. Thundering wheels of cheese, dangling sausages, an outside table with a bunch of fresh herbs in a jug, a painted line to mark a “terrace”, an open grill, larky chandeliers and a neon Bombetta sign Tracey Emining from within; all beckon seductively.
And then in pure restaurant-review-speak, she adds:
Drawing on the two meals tried I would say that pig’s head bruschetta is not to be missed. The covert pieces of meat winnowed out and laid on small squares of grilled bread are fatty enough, salty and sassy enough to put appetite on alert ready for, say, lamb with deer mocetta (venison ham), scamorza (sheep’s-milk curd cheese) and peppers threaded onto the flat sword-like skewers. Small but potent, the meaty bombs oozing cheese come with a pile of salad leaves. The pork of my imagining accompanied by scamorza, ’nduja and basil wrapped in pancetta is also good but less particular.
There was a favourable review too in Methods Unsound by Wanstead local Toni Ratcliff, which gives this useful bit of background:
Bombetta London’s menu draws inspiration from the Italian farming communities of Puglia where villagers would gather together at the butcher’s shop to eat pieces of meat that had been rolled up with cheese and cured meats, and then roasted over a fire. These meaty treats are called Bombetta, and this idea of communal sharing of simple dishes and delicious meat on sticks is what Bombetta London have now brought to Wanstead. I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty good, huh?
Bombetta London, as its namesake implies, mostly caters for carnivores. If you are of the vegetarian persuasion then this may not be the place for you. BUT if you enjoy eating delicious meat with a twist, in a laid-back, tapas-y, sharing-plate style with added tasty sides then you should get your butt down there. The interior was inviting, the vibe was relaxed and the staff were all super lovely and really knowledgeable on the menu (which is handy considering that a lot of it was in Italian and did require some Googling), and most of all the food was really good. We will definitely be back for seconds, and not only because it is just at the end of our road.
Wansteadium’s food blogger Suki Orange says: “Everything the Bombetta team have done here shows real class. The style and atmosphere of the restaurant have made a silk purse out of what could have been a sow’s ear of a bit of land. The staff balance informal friendliness with knowledge of what they are doing, and the creativity of the menu shows real flair. Delightful too to see they are sourcing some products from other Wanstead traders such as our fishmonger Wanstead Fish. Visit here are going to be a real treat, though class like this does not come cheaply.”
* Bombetta is one of the restaurants taking part in the Wanstead Fringe Restaurant Week, where discounts will be available to anyone producing a copy of the Wanstead Fringe programme. Watch this space for more details.