Rarely would we recommend restaurants which are out-of-the-way, unless they are distinctly noteworthy. Bombetta is one such example as there are so few decent Pugliese restaurants in central London. Snaresbrook might be in zone 4, but this is one journey definitely worth making to experience authentic Italian cuisine. It also helps that the restaurant is literally right next to the tube station.
The success of Bombetta is partially down to the fact the owners Ben Milne and Joana Anastasiou-Milne own The Chef’s Deli, which is adjacent to Bombetta and supplies artisanal cheese and meats to restaurants like Ottolenghi and the Soho house group.
This rustic looking trattoria mixes up their distressed tables with plush leather seating and post-modern posters and neon-signs. The decor might have a mish-mash of themes, but somehow it works in modern-day multicultural London.
Pig’s head bruschetta is normally a dish most might swerve, but is one of the many gems of their menu. It has a glutinous texture and a substantial amount of fattiness which soaks well into the bread. It might taste salty but it is that taste of quality you don’t mind consuming in abundance.
The decor might be casual and informal, but the food screams quality from start to finish. The creamy burratini is exceptionally well-sourced as well as the sweet-tasting Sicilian semi roasted cherry tomatoes. The same could be said for the slices of veal fillet. although they could work on the presentation of that particular dish.
They clearly are passionate about using truffle on their dishes, there are shavings of black truffle on the veal and truffle pecorino makes an appearance on the main course with the pork bombette. You might ask what is a bombette? These little morsels of joy are traditionally carefully rolled and roasted pieces of meat stuffed with cheeses, cured meats and/or herbs and vegetables. It used to be considered food for the poor, hence the high fat content to provide more energy for hardworking labourers. Although the tasty pork version I tried is unlikely to be the version for common workers with accompaniments like prosciutto San Daniele, truffle pecorino and porcini paste. I felt compelled to order a side dish of quinoa, broccoli and creamy Greek yoghurt to neutralise the indulgent tastes from the bombette.
I would strongly recommend bringing chewing gum along with your meal, as even their vegetarian options contain truffle tastes: Orecchiette pasta from Puglia, wild mushrooms and truffle butter. There is much to enjoy at Bombetta especially if you are a lover of truffle and/or grilled meats.