We’ve just returned from a visit to Apulia, an Italian restaurant right next to the beautiful Smithfield Market of London (we like to buy our meat there, when we find the energy to get up at 3am in the morning). We were just doing a quick stop to get some food on our way to the Barbican, where we were seeing the LA Philharmonic perform.
Apulia is the southeasternmost region of Italy, known for its delicious dishes (usually the ones ending in ‘Pugliese’, unsurprisingly) and rich history, having first been colonised by Mycenaean Greeks. The Barbarians have been there several times over the years, and are great fans (can’t really remember the names of all the idyllic small villages.. very fond memories anyway; my first time there was at the age of 10 when my parents, my sister and I took a rather small car ferry from Brindisi to Corfu with our caravan, very stormy waters with lots of people ‘feeding the fishes’, but that’s another story).
Service was quick and friendly. Being short on time, we ordered a large (250ml) house red for a very decent £6.50 (solid house wine, very pleasant) which we shared, and some tap water, which never arrived (but we didn’t miss it, so didn’t remind the waiter), the polpo ragu spaghetti (bits of octopus with lots of tomato sauce, their dish of the day; very good value at £13), and pizza Capurso (regular size, the small ones are just appetizers, for £11.50; spread with mozzarella, black olives, spicy salami ventricina, and lovely sundried tomatoes like only the Italians do).
We were very pleased with both dishes, even though the pizza was perhaps more lukewarm than hot. The salami ventrecina was truly amazing, and the octopus equally a true delight. We also enjoyed the warm, relaxed, quiet ambience with plenty of light.
One thing that we found below par, was that when we were paying our bill, the waiter who clearly mistook us for tourists, asked if we’d want to add a tip, even though the bill already included a 12.5% service charge. We wonder how many poor souls were tricked into paying more than they should have. Let’s presume in their favour that this is not a regular occurrence.
The food was so good that we’ll probably stop by again when we’re in the area. 3.75 out of 5 in our book.