2 Mill Street, Bermondsey, London, SE1 2BD
Tentazioni aims to exceed all expectations of an authentic Italian dining experience. The decor is modern yet plush, the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting and the staff are hospitable. However, it is the food at Tentazioni that is in the spotlight. Owner Riccardo Giacomini was head chef here for 18 years before he handed the kitchen reins to Alessandro Cattani three years ago. Since then, the duo has crafted a menu that showcases traditional Italian cuisine, adapted to ensure that even the biggest fan of Italian fare will find something that intrigues and delights. There are numerous menus to choose from, including a varied à la carte, dedicated menus for vegetarians and coeliacs, a seven-course tasting menu, a reasonably priced lunch menu and a set menu available on Sundays. After being presented with the numerous options we decided to sample the tasting menu, which showcases a different complementary wine with each course. We began with Carpaccio of Sicilian red prawns paired with caviar, before being presented with a smooth caulifl ower soup enhanced by black truffle. Hake saltimbocca followed shortly after, served on a bed of fine ratatouille and drizzled in basil and pesto dressing. Another course comprised lamb cutlets atop spinach and onion, accompanied by foie gras. From the incredible selection, my favourite was the homemade tagliatelle in creamy truffle sauce. Despite seeming rather simple in comparison to some of the other courses, the components of the dish worked well together and the pasta was cooked to perfection. The finale came in the form of an iced Grand Marnier souffl é paired with orange sauce, which was to die for. Not on the menu, but highly recommended, is the chef’s signature triptych of appetisers. Strictly seasonal and available upon request, this is dish that is both beautiful to behold and a treat for the tastebuds. Ours included a truffle-perfumed veal tartare with caviar, rocket with egg yolk emulsion and 24-month-aged Parmesan three ways. Needless to say, everything was delicious.