Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Made in Italy, Eating in Fulham

Fulham is not short of Italian restaurants, sadly though the market for our price range is dominated by chains and in these recessionary times half prize vouchers seem to win over authenticity. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough when it comes to quality Italian dining and last week I discovered another, Made in Italy  in Fulham Broadway. I had visited the sister restaurants on the Kings Road and Hollywood Road a while ago and was always impressed by the creaminess of the mozzarella and freshness of the tomatoes, however for some (snobbish) reason I had never tried the Fulham Broadway branch. Squished on the slightly grotty strip that is home to Elk bar and a spattering of hair dressers and take away shops, this hidden gem is unassuming in its location. However, as I soon discovered, what it lacks in presence it makes up for in quality, service and atmosphere.
The restaurant has a homely Italian kitchen feel with the pizza oven taking centre stage at the entrance; do not be put off by the small door way, once inside the space opens out into a buzzing, higgildy piggidly assembly of tables on various levels. We opted for a raised table for two by the pizza oven and were greeted with Italian warmth and cheer by one of the charming waiters. Made in Italy is a small, family owned company that prides itself on their Italian ‘philosophy’ and way of living. Sadly, thanks to the grey London drizzle and 12 tube stop commute back from work it was a difficult to relax into the ‘Amalfi Coast’ atmosphere immediately but after a glass of prosecco we began to unwind.
Inspired by Jess’s summer trip to Italy I decided to go all out and ordered the sharing platter to start, it arrived groaning with cured meats, mozzarella, prosciutto and garlic roasted vegetables. The quality of the ingredients was evident and the friendliness of the service faultless, their enthusiasm knew no bounds and it became infectious, stress? What stress!
The diet dissolved as quickly as the sharing platter and we soon were tucking into our main courses, Rigatoni with homemade meatballs and cherry tomatoes for me and Paccheri with button mushrooms and truffle oil for my friend. Both dishes were flavoursome, extremely satisfying and not astronomically priced, all the pasta dishes are around the £10 mark which is brilliant value considering the generous portion size and ingredients used. The bill totalled £60 which included two courses, a glass of prosecco, olives and a bottle of white wine making the whole evening fantastic value for money, even more so compared to competitor chains in Fulham which have a shaving of the atmosphere and authenticity.

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