Right by Fenchurch Street station, a smart but tightly-packed pizza-and-more operation that makes a handy rendezvous for travellers and, yes, locals.
e admit to a degree of surprise that Tike, the smart Turkish operation that was until recently the neighbour to Fenchurch Street station, endured for such a brief time. Perhaps the answer is that: Turkish=ethnic=minority appeal. In such a trafficked location, it was perhaps unwise to put off some proportion of the market by offering a cuisine that might be deemed less than entirely mainstream. Sad.
But the same owners have dusted themselves down, and relaunched in the most common non-ethnic style that’s ‘worked’ in London for almost half a century now – Italian.
The site is pretty much unchanged, but it now offers a cuisine as mainstream as you could want – pizza-based, but with a few more solid dishes too. We only sampled a starter (a platter of chargrilled vegetables), a thin-crust pizza and a coffee, but everything was of a piece – entirely satisfactory (just as it was in the old days). Reasonably priced too, and with efficient and friendly service, making il Locale a very good all-rounder.
Not so sure about the (one-way) mirrored façade, though. It’s almost as if one self-inflicted wound (the minority cuisine) has been replaced by another: a bizarrely cold and impersonal exterior. Odd, having adopted such a mainstream formula, to give the external impression of a City branch of MI5.