Review: Stockwell Continental, Stockwell

We stop in here for lunch as it looks inviting. It’s a cheerful looking no-frills room decorated with Italiana and simple furniture. It goes back a long way too, all the way back to the bright yellow pizza oven. We have various antipasti, one pizza to share, and a small glass of wine.

Allow me to digress into a rant about wine servings. If you eat at any fine restaurant, 125ml is the size you’ll be served. It’s about the same alcohol as a half pint of beer and there’s six in a bottle of wine. For me it’s the perfect size. Especially if I’m just having a quick lunch and wasn’t planning on drinking, for instance. So why do so many restaurants, bars and pubs insist that the standard wine measure is 175ml? I guess because they want to shift volumes.

If I specifically ask for 125ml it’s almost always fine. Some waiters will say no, but if you politely insist then the manager will say yes and the waiter will have an expression of “oh, I didn’t even know we could do that?” on their face. Because – trivia moment – it’s actually the law. 125ml is a legal measure that you have to offer. But you’d never know it, looking at the drink menu at 90% of all restaurants and bars.

Sure enough, after I’m told that they’re “not really set up for 125ml glasses, but I’ll see what I can do,” I do get my small glass of wine.

We also got some really excellent antipasti. The polenta was perfect, crispy on the outside and softly corny within, dribbled with truffled honey and parmesan. The arancini were perfect too, the rice stained purple by red wine and gorgonzola. A shot glass of chopped pepperoncini was a fierce but excellent relish. There was a perfect mozarella in carrozza with little flavour-bombs of nduja hidden in the oozing cheese. Oh… and let me tell you about battered aubergine parmigiana bites. Filth. Absolute filth. I’ll take ten plates, please.

The pizza was splendid as well; thin and crisp base with nicely burnt flour flavour, quality mozzarella, stabs of n’duja and some very good pickled red onion.

All pretty great really. About £14 each for two as a light lunch. Lucky people of Stockwell, to have the Continental around the corner.

Aubergine parmigiana bites

Aubergine parmigiana bites

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