Why all this Daniel Defoe nonsense? Because the revelations here are not the dirty secrets of the food industry, but that the industry itself is a self-constructing giant, beneath whose feet we could all easily be crushed. We knew this, of course, but it needs the human scale (and is there anyone more humanly scaled than Gregg Wallace?) to throw it into relief. ‘I’ve been in the food industry…’ Yes, yes: you said.
Mimmo La Bufala
It’s just as well portions are large here, as we enjoyed every last flavoursome bite of our meal. Mimmo La Bufala specialises in southern Italian food, with a bias towards mozzarella (of course) and fish. Daily specials might include classics such as osso buco. A starter of sautéed king prawns was deliciously fresh and juicy. Then followed a memorable pasta dish of orecchiette with fresh spinach, creamy ricotta and tangy sun-dried tomatoes – a perfect mix of complementary flavours. The long pizza list includes all the classics as well as seasonal variations such as tomato-free ‘biancis’. We opted for ‘Mimmo’s pizza’, named after the ebullient proprietor. In true southern Italian style, its thin base was topped with juicy tomatoes, smoky provolone and melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella before being baked in a wood-fired oven. This oven links the restaurant’s two dining areas: a small but airy front room in white with shopfront-style windows, mirrors and chandeliers; and a larger, cosier space at the back with less natural light and a grand piano for occasional entertainment. Our main gripe is the lack of wines by the glass (only house red or white), but it’s the food that is the draw.