Rossopomodoro restaurant
'Top-notch traditional Neopolitan ingredients' at Rossopomodoro


Open Mon–Thu midday–3pm and 6pm–11.30pm Fri midday–3pm and 6pm–midnight, Sat–Sun midday–midnight

There are three London-based branches of the popular Italian pizzeria chain of Rossopomodoro (meaning pure Neopolitan ‘tomato-shaped heart’, according to the menu) restaurants; one in Chelsea, one in Covent Garden and one in Notting Hill, which I was visiting. This branch has been open two years and expanded nine months ago, taking over what was next door’s the Eclipse bar (plans are currently afoot to expand the basement area).

There are several rooms featuring exposed brickwork, rather cramped wooden tables and bright paintings depicting scenes of Naples by a Neopolitan artist. Yes, there is a theme: all ingredients are grown and produced in – even the flour and water to make the pizza dough comes from – the Campania region of Italy.

We took the buzzy – despite the early Monday evening booking – former Eclipse front room of the restaurant and were offered well-worn menus. There is plenty of choice: pan-fried and grilled meats, pasta, salads, stone oven-baked and even fried pizzas as well as lots of rare traditional ingredients (mainly cheeses). To start, my friend chose a generous portion of Bruschetta (£3) – ‘flavoursome tomatoes and not too garlicky’ – while I had a side of peppery (akin to mustard) rocket leaves and tomatoes (£3).  For mains, I plumped for the Baianese pizza (£10.50) made with buffalo mozzarella fondue and lashes of truffle and wild mushroom sauce. The base was crispy, while the toppings were deliciously rich without leaving me feeling bloated. My friend went for the O’Cannolicchio (£9.50), a pasta from Gragnano with Neopolitan ragu, buffalo ricotta and Bagnoli pecorino cheese. The pasta looked and tasted homemade, but my friend was expecting the ragu to be meaty – she couldn’t taste any – while the sauce was heavier than expected. We rounded off the meal with a light fruttolina (£5) made from fresh melon and pineapple, honey buffalo milk yoghurt, roasted pine nuts and cinnamon, and a good, strong espresso. We left impressed by Rossopmodoro’s emphasis on top-notch traditional Neopolitan ingredients – definitely something that many of the formulaic, identikit chain restaurants could take note from.

Meal for two, with wine, around £60.

Rossopomodoro, 184A Kensington Park Road, W11;; 020 7229 9007

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