Named for the famously beautiful stretch of coast on southern Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, Old Amalfi is a long-standing Italian restaurant in London’s Bloomsbury. In fact, Old Amalfi has occupied its Southampton Row premises since 1978, serving locals and curious visitors to the area’s many museums and theatres. Over the decades, tastes have changed, and while Old Amalfi is committed to the venerable traditions of Italian cuisine, the restaurant offers considered contemporary updates suited to the discerning modern palate. A real destination for London’s lovers of Italian.
Many of Bloomsbury’s culinary aficionados know and love Old Amalfi for their great set menu lunch deals – an ideal way to idle the noon hours away after a visit to the British Museum, for instance, and a fantastic introduction to this London Italian restaurant’s take on Italian cuisine. As you’d quite rightly expect, this veteran restaurant down Southampton Row has assembled an a la carte menu that is eminently classical in structure. Antipasti include Old Amalfi’s soup of the day, pan-fried Italian sausage with red peppers, chilli and basil, Roman-style calamari, and beautiful platters of antipasto all’Italiana laden with Parma ham, Neapolitan salami, mortadella, olives, marinated courgettes and wedges of Parmesan. And that’s just to start.
Classic Italian salads segue into pasta dishes like the classic carbonara, gnocchi with a four cheese sauce, and a simple, briny bucatini alla puttanesca with olives, capers, garlic and anchovies in a tomato sauce. For the main event, we recommend the rolled and roasted (with garlic and rosemary) pork tenderloin with Pancetta and red peppers or the simple seafood salad of deep-fried salmon, sea bass, king prawns and squid. Old Amalfi take their pizza seriously (they’re well-known to Bloomsbury for their traditional, wood-fired oven and the perfect Neapolitan pies produced therein), and you can choose from all the classics, plus a list of pizze rosse and pizze bianche, with no mozzarella cheese and no tomato sauce respectively. Or, go pizza ripiene with a folded calzone del bosco: mozzarella, Neapolitan salami and mushrooms. No Italian meal would be complete without some robust Italian wine. Old Amalfi’s cellars are well-stocked, offering the house selections by the glass, half or full bottle, and a great range of well-annotated continental vintages. A favourite in central London, we advise an early booking, especially for large groups (special set menus can be arranged for such parties).
Old Amalfi was wonderful. The food was excellent and authentic, and the staff were kind and helpful. Highly recommended for traditional Italian menu staples as well as some surprises.
Lovely little restaurant. Staff pleasant and friendly. Lots to choose from on the menu we were spoilt for choice. Will definitely be visiting here again.
Friendly service with good attention, but not intrusive. Good menu of specials as well as an extensive main menu. From simple pastas and pizzas to more elaborate fish and meat dishes, everything was well prepared and presented. Very good value with service included. I will definitely go to the Old Amalfi again.