8 months ago

Osteria Mbare is better than ever

Just when you thought this Italian restaurant couldn’t get tastier, Osteria Mbare have a new food menu and it’s the best yet.

The Italian scene is a popular one in Clapham, so be in with a chance of securing bookings and winning the hearts of regulars, you’ve really got to be on your A game. Osteria Mbare are doing exactly that. They’re stepping up to the plate by reinventing their food menu and, let us tell you, we were seriously impressed.

We kicked off with some delicious drinks. It would have been wrong to have seen a mango chilli margarita on the menu and not order it, and aren’t we glad we did. The mango syrup is made in house and it was beautifully presented with a quarter of the glass coated in a chilli dust. Then there was a refreshing pear high ball. Something a little different to what we’d usually order but it went down a treat and we loved the subtle smokey flavour from the chargrilled slice of pear.

The new food menu has been totally restructured and is packed full of snacks and smaller plates to choose between before getting a main dish. We were recommend 3-4 small plates plus a main dish each (for a pair) and it was just the right amount of food to enjoy. We got the ‘tiny pizza’ which was as cute as it sounds and came topped simply with a rich tomato sauce and mozzarella. We then tried the carbonara croquettes. If we’re honest, we were expecting these not to work, but- oh boy- they do. They blew us away with their centre of creamy carbonara, salty guanciale and punchy pecorino cheese. So indulgent and every bit worth it. The burrata was special too; it came with a very moorish aubergine caponata and other than Mitchellin-star neighbour Trinity, it’s the only place south of the river to source their burrata made from 100% British milk. The mussels were jazzed up with nuggets of nduja which added a nice kick to a healthy sized portion.

And that’s just the starters. The mains were equally as fabulous. We had the intensely savoury beef ragú which we’d highly recommend you getting too. Knowing that they now make the pasta fresh every day, in house, made this feel extra special. The steak was a showstopper. Presented like a flower on the plate and with a buttery texture like we’ve not had in a very, very long time. Sirloin that melts on the tongue along with some a peppery rocket and parmesan salad is simple but unbeatable when done well. This one was done incredibly well. To finish up the meal was a classic panna cotta. This one was tangy, fruity and looked like a piece of pop art on the plate. A pud worth finding room for. We really appreciated that they were able to offer finer red wines, like a Barolo, by the glass. They’ve invested in a fancy machine that keeps the wine inside the bottle fresher for longer and lengthens the shelf life. It means that you can splash out on a really good glass without having to fork out for the full bottle- perfect for a special occasion treat.

Osteria Mbare have really upped their game. They are making everything with care and love which is just how Italian food should be. The resulting plates are full of soul and we have a feeling you’ll be returning again and again once you’ve tried this new menu. We know we will be.

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