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Harters

Tentazioni, Bermondsey, London

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The name translates as “temptations” and what tempted us towards this place was its tasting menu which was full of Italian delights and priced very reasonably at £45.50 (or £65.50 to include a glass of wine at each course).

We kicked off with a little puff pastry cheese tart and then moved on to what would prove to be the finest dish of the meal. A delicate lobster and saffron soup surrounded a small fillet of red mullet, some crisp fried pasta and a few shavings of truffle. This was simply delicious. The chef had sourced a delivery of truffle and it appeared on just about every dish except dessert.

Next came ravioli, stuffed with an artichoke puree and served with softened cherry tomatoes and mint. This was light and summery and will improve as tomatoes improve.

A fillet of lemon sole, perfectly fried , came with wild mushrooms, more truffle and a grain mustard sauce. Good dish – the mustard could easily have overpowered the fish here but there had been a light touch and it provided just the right amount of piquancy.

A sorbet of Granny Smiths provided a tangy interlude – from truffle.

On to the main course – breaded lamb chop, underseasoned, undercooked and bit chewy. It could have been rescued by a really flavoursome caponata but this was also underflavoured with none of the sweet/sourness that you except. A deep fried courgette baton and one of asparagus were the best things on the plate.

A pre-dessert was a shotglass of flavoured cream topping a few berries.

Dessert was little short of awful. Described as sweet pastry pear tart with almond cream and cinnamon ice cream, the pastry was overcooked and unpleasantly hard; the pear itself was tasteless yet everything was overly sweet and there was no discernable taste (of anything) in the ice cream.

We finished with some very good coffee. Front of house had been very much on the ball but gaps in between courses were too long – not helped by the chef constantly popping out of the kitchen to have a drink or to fiddle with the computer. That said, the food had generally been good and in proper portions (we didn’t go away hungry). Wines were also of pretty good quality and, apart from a Slovenian Riesling, were all Italian. The whole deal felt very good value.

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