Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
35 Railway Approach London SE1
Tel: 020 7407 0277
Cost: About Â£25 per person
There is a wonderful scene in Woody Allenâs film, Annie Hall, of a house underneath the roller coaster in Coney Island that shook every time the roller coaster went overhead. La Spezia is a bit like that, being underneath the railway arches of London Bridge Station. It is quite a quirky restaurant in other ways as well, having opened in 1951 and not changed very much since then. True, there are some new lights and some new murals on the walls, and the present manager has been there only 26 years. But this place is holding out for the return of the London trattoria and when the trattoria does come back, La Spezia will be leading the pack.
I know that sounds a bit harsh or sarcastic, but there is something rather sweet about this place. Itâs not the two waitresses (who apparently charge extra for a smile). It must have something to do with sheer, dogged persistence and the psychic patina that comes from hundreds of thousands of customers passing through the premises. And you can be sure the very first one was offered prosciutto and melon, stuffed mushrooms or deep-fried squid. They would have then moved on to lasagne verdi, tagliatelle with mushrooms and ham, or spinach and cheese agnolotti with butter and sage. All of these are still on the menu and it must be said that while basic, the pastas are sound. The same goes for mains â scaloppine alla Milanese, fegato alla Veneziana (not on the menu but you can ask for it), and grilled Dover sole. Plans are afoot to give the place a facelift, but whatâs wrong with honestly-earned wrinkles?