In quiet, residential Wapping lies a lively restaurant where you’ll find amazing food, great value for money and the Italian zest for life.
The decor is simple and rustic with Italian style. Walls are lightly coloured with some exposed brick and decorated with large, bright paintings by Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka. The main focus of attention in the restaurant is a tiny copper bar that sits in the centre of the dining area. Recessed halogen lighting illuminates the room and the floors are a worn looking light wood. Closely placed tables have copper-coloured tablecloths with maroon leather chairs. This is a prime example of understated Italian elegance.
There is a warm and cosy feeling inside at Il Bordello. It might be the pizza oven providing the warmth but then again, there is something very entertaining about watching pizza being made. The atmosphere has the buzz and ambiance of a busy Italian trattoria, and staff are willing to make suggestions and offer explanations. Since the tables are placed very close together it can get a bit loud but once your food arrives you won’t mind the noise. Many of the tables are pushed together for groups and parties as well.
The menu features starters, soups and salads, pasta and pizza dishes, plus meat dishes, fresh fish, and sweets. Garlic pizza (£4.45) is a thin crust brick oven baked pizza with tomato sauce and tons of fresh chopped garlic which is enough for four people to share. This is the perfect starter for garlic lovers who are looking to start out with something light.
For mains, tagliatelle al salmone (£9.95) is a long, flat, ribbon-shaped pasta similar in size to fettuccine, blended with cream sauce and smoked salmon. Though this dish is made with a cream sauce, it’s surprisingly light, evenly coating but not overpowering the smoked salmon and al dente cooked pasta. Penne arrabiata (£8.95) is a generous portion of penne mixed with fresh tomato sauce, garlic, parsley and chillies. If you like your meals with some heat than this is the dish for you, though it’s not too spicy for novices. Be sure to ask for some freshly grated parmesan cheese if you want the dish cooled down a bit. Blackboard specials usually feature fresh fish from Billingsgate market, and tiramisu (£4.95) is their most popular dessert. Il Bordello is known for their large portion sizes, making the food good value for money.
As you would expect from an Italian restaurant, there is an extensive and impressive wine list. You can choose red and white wines from Italy, France, Australia, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand. Prices for bottles range from £12.75 to £45, and a specialty wine list features a bottle of 1997 Brunello for £59.95. House wine is available by the glass for £3.95. There are also various spirits, beers, mineral waters, sodas, juices, coffees and Champagnes.
The Last Word
Il Bordello offers authentic Italian food with an authentic Italian feel.