Harden's survey result
“Divine home-made pasta” and other “good Sardinian food” has made Antonello Serra’s “welcoming”, family-run (and “very family-friendly”) neighbourhood Italian a beacon in Brockley for more than a decade. But ratings are still on the wane here, year-on-year, with some regulars expressing caution: “it’s a sad thing when you find fault in something you love, but I’ve had two disappointing meals in a row of late – pasta was still excellent, everything else seemed rather basic”.
“Customers are welcomed like old friends” at this family-run neighbourhood Italian in Brockley, which is “only improved by being Sardinian, with great specials, fish and burrata”. (For years, it won some of southeast London’s highest ratings – nowadays its scores are very respectable but not quite as earth shattering.)
“It looks just like a café outside”, but this “very friendly” family run restaurant in Brockley is known for its “superb value” Italian cooking, with the best choices from the specials board – “an impressive array” that’s “particularly interesting”. Its ratings have dipped however, and while reports are all upbeat, the most cautious says “it’s good, but not as top notch as it used to be”. Top Menu Tip – “Three scoops of a vast assortment of esoteric ice cream flavours for less than a fiver!”
“The specials board is particularly interesting” at this “fantastic”, “family-run” Sardinian – Brockley Park’s greatest contribution to London gastronomy, with “very industrious” service. Top Menu Tips – “wonderful homemade pasta” and funky ice creams (e.g. beetroot and basil).
Le Querce SE23
Why is it impossible to find those cheap mom-and-pop type places, like you might stumble across in an Italian backstreet, where the décor is plain but everything comes from the heart? Well - thanks to a reader - we have. There is a downside, naturally. You have to go to Brockley for it.
That bit of outer-Lewisham is known to outsiders - if at all - only as the home of an outstanding modern Indian restaurant, and Babur remains the only place to attract the eye in a dismal street. The exterior of Le Querce itself is a parody of dullness. Don't give up, though. You can't, it seems, always judge by appearances. And this place turns out to be the antidote to everything that's wrong with a modern dining-out scene, obsessed with design, glitz and celebrity.
Chef Antonello Serra boasts experience of cooking at Michelin-starred restaurants in both Sardinia and Bayswater. But the food here comes without flourish. In fact, tables are bare, and you could just go for pizza. That would be a wasted opportunity, though, as what makes a visit here so special is that you can (at very modest cost) have a wonderful, simple 'proper' Italian meal, with everything home-made that should be. Ravioli and spaghetti, for example, are both very good, and puddings (£3.95!) are absolutely exceptional - well up there with top places in the West End. Main courses can be less exciting, but that's pretty authentic too. The wine list isn't flashy, but it's carefully chosen and reasonably priced.
Admittedly, the style of this place is so unassuming that you'd have to be a manic Italophile to cross town for it. If you live anywhere in the under-provided outer-SE postcodes, though, you'd be mad not to give it a whirl.
66-68 Brockley Rise, London, SE23 1LN
|Tuesday||6 pm-9:45 pm|
|Wednesday||6 pm-9:45 pm|
|Thursday||6 pm-9:45 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2:45 pm, 6 pm-9:45 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm-2:45 pm, 6 pm-9:45 pm|
|Sunday||12:30 pm-8:15 pm|