Monday, 3 September 2012

On Virgin Ground

Whoops! Who ate all the bruschetta...
For someone who fancies themselves a bit of a foodie - if only for the amount I eat, as opposed to any real  expertise - living within easy reach of the World's End is definitely a plus, as the last year or so has seen a range of openings, switcharounds and more on the restaurant scene. When Rosso Pomodoro shut, it left many of its fans disappointed, and the site lay empty for quite a few months... seemingly the recession's ubiquitous calling card, the empty shop front, had finally hit Chelsea. So it was as much relief as curiosity that I felt on seeing the builders move in to develop the World's End latest Italian venture: Terra Vergine.

Inspired by the Abruzzo region of Italy, the emphasis is on quality, natural and pure ingredients. The menu is diverse, although not too long, following the traditional structure of starters and pasta (normally a first course in Italy), followed by a selection of meat or fish dishes, and sides chosen separately. They definitely sit on the pricey and more sophisticated end of the spectrum, although the dishes are not overly complex or adventurous - the emphasis is on quality.

Sitting outside on one of August's rare sunny afternoons, I was certainly struck by the freshness of the vegetables adorning my bruschetta: set off with a crisp white wine, and a good dose of sunshine, I definitely felt a blissful Mediterranean vibe. Having whet our appetites, a generous helping of garlic and white wine seafood linguine (packed full of our sea-dwelling friends) and some lobster spaghetti managed to transport us almost completely - only the rattling of the number 11 bus going by managed us out of our reverie. Rounding off with a traditional Italian affogato (amaretto, espresso and vanilla ice-cream), we'd enjoyed a meal as good as you'd find anywhere on the Italian coast. However, we'd also spent a fair few pennies. Whilst Terra Vergine is not Chelsea's priciest Italian, it's not your cheapest option either. Definitely one for a date, rather than a wallet friendly option for a group of friends. It will be interesting to see how it fits in amongst the many other Italian options in the immediate area.

Terra Vergine
442 Kings Road, London SW10 0LQ

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