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The main reason that this new Clapham Italian has attracted a certain amount of attention is because it is the brainchild of Mike Filpi. You may not have heard of Mr Filpi, but you possibly have heard of the hip Eclipse bar chain - now part of the same group as Boujis, Prince Harry's favourite nightclub - which Mr Filpi helped found.
So - you'd wager - he'd have created a fabulous clubby interior to make this as much a nightclub as a restaurant, for the glitterati of South London to beat a path to its door? Well, the premises are too small and plain to admit of much clubbification, but there are quite a lot of cushions scattered along the banquettes which run down two sides of the room. That's it though. The walls are emulsion. The tables are bare. The effect is like many other south London 'local' restaurants which feel a little bit as if they have been done on the cheap. This impression is intensified by playing loud music, which is neither 'clubby' nor Italian, but plain naff.
So there's a lot riding on the food here, and we looked for a glimmer of why anyone who lived more than, say, 200 yards away might seek the place out. In vain. There was admittedly a decent bit of Parma ham accompanying the mushroom crostini, but both involtini - rolled aubergines with tomato and basil - and a risotto were, in their different ways, a sort of indeterminate mush. It said much about the meal that the highlight was a rather over-sweet coffee cake - it was quite possibly bought in, but it did at least really taste of something.
And the bill for this underwhelming meal for one, with no expensive bits of protein anywhere? £40, including two glasses of wine and one espresso. Surely too much.
36a Old Town, London, SW4 0LB
lunch noon - 3 pm, Sat & Sun 5 pm, dinner 6.30 pm - 11 pm
Last orders: 11 pm