Gattopardo was the one restaurant we booked for Restaurant Week that we've been to before, and maybe it's not a coincidence that we had the best Restaurant Week meal here. It was the one meal that made us want to return because of the food itself, not in spite of a lacklustre meal but the lure of something better.
The 3 course dinner started with an octopus salad, a fitting nod to the restaurant's specialty which is fresh seafood. The octopus was a little on the tough side, but it was paired with the most amazing honey vinaigrette and slow roasted vine cherry tomatoes that were a mouthful of juicy flavour.
We decided to have one each of the mains to share. A ordered the baccalao tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes. This was a bit too understated, but I did like that they kept the flavours simple, clean and uncomplicated.
I went for the slow-roasted pork belly, which was amazing. The pork was melt-in-the-mouth fork-tender, but at the same time not overly braised so that it was like a stew, which I’m not too fond of. It still had texture and bite, and just the right fat to meat ratio. It was served with mashed potatoes and braised spinach, which again weren’t overcomplicated, and just paired with the pork really well without distracting.
Dessert was better than it sounded – a mascarpone cream with caramelised fruit and nuts. I expected candied cherries and the like, but it was quite a light concoction of whipped mascarpone, pineapple and a sweet balsamic syrup.
In our defence, dinner was quite light, and we ate at 6.30. My friend G had recommended the anchovy pizza here before, and while we were a bit too full to have it at dinner time, we ordered it for take-out and had it at about 9 pm… It’s a simple Marinara pizza with mozzarella, tomato sauce, anchovies and slices of garlic. You have to like anchovies cos they’re really hard core in this pizza – the bites with anchovy packed a huge salty/savoury punch, though overall I think this would be best appreciated when eaten piping hot.
Well, there you have it – our decadent Restaurant Week indulgences. Old faithful Gattopardo reminded us that Restaurant Week or not, they still never fail to impress.
This place is really hit or miss depending on what you order. I was surprised at how mundane my tagliatelle was, and equally surprised at how awesome the pork belly was. So really, who knows how any meal could go.
11 Canning Walk
Lunch: 12 noon – 3 pm
Dinner: 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm