9 months ago

There is a place like home at Bucci

This Balham based Italian is as close to a home away from home as you can get. Cosy, comforting and the kind of food you’ll crave.

Bucci has been on Balham High Road for over 30 years and this Italian-owned restaurant is loved by its regulars for its authentic, homely cooking. They had a little bit of a rocky year with a rogue management company but now the original management team- and owners- of Bucci are back with a vengeance, and with a new head Chef at the helm (who came straight from Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill), we had to pay them a visit.

The antipasti selection was such a treat for a starter. It had everything you’d want from a neighbourhood Italian: cheese, cured meats, salad. Honestly, you could just come to enjoy this with a glass of red on date night for a strong ‘laid-back’ vibe. We tried both carpaccio; the veal was so delicate and flavourful- the intensely savoury tuna sauce really added some oomph. The colourful vegetarian alternative was thinly sliced beetroot with a goat’s cheese foam, a sweet balsamic reduction and some crunchy pistachios, the favours and textures were spot on.

If you’re planning a visit make sure you’re hungry, because the pasta portion was whopping. It is possibly our favourite thing about this place; they don’t mess about when it comes to plating big and it’s what gives it such a homely feel- is there anything more comforting than a huge plate of pasta? Our seafood pasta was fantastic and they don’t skimp the seafood either. Ladened with prawns, clams, mussels and calamari it was a steaming, salty dish of deliciousness. We also got the Bucci pizza which came as a white base; mozzarella, parma ham, rocket, cherry tomatoes and a generous shower of parmesan shavings on top of a chewy pizza dough. You can’t go wrong. Finishing up with our favourite dessert: the homemade tiramisu. If you come for one thing, come for this. We like to think of ourselves as tiramisu connoisseurs and this one was excellent, perfectly layered, very creamy and very luxurious.

When we say the service here is energetic, we mean it. If you’re celebrating a birthday or want to surprise someone with a fuss, be sure to let the Bucci staff know. The lights are dimmed, music goes up, and the staff come out banging pots and pans, singing at the top of their lungs. It’s a fantastic time for that friend who likes everyone to know that it’s their day.

This trip really cemented everything we love about Bucci: the delicious food, the classic, unfussy interior and lively service. It’s so authentically Italian and really does feel like a home style dinner. You’ll go once and then you’ll go again, and again, and again…

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