Whenever I’m in London, my sanctuary is our Clapham family home. My ritual involves a serene Saturday morning stroll down Northcote Road, savouring coffee and charity shop treasures. The highlight is lunch at Buona Sera Battersea, my Italian haven known for its mouth-watering Melanzane Ripiene and vibrant atmosphere. It’s more than a restaurant; it’s a community cornerstone, narrating a legacy from its Battersea origins to its Clapham heart. Though some Tripadvisor reviews critique the service, my encounters have always been delightful, with friendly staff and exceptional, reasonably priced dishes. It’s a genuine, comforting experience every single time.
A Saturday Tradition
Whenever my schedule brings me to London, I find solace in the familiar comforts of our family home in Clapham. In this urban oasis, my weekends transform into a series of cherished rituals, far removed from the hustle and bustle of professional commitments and country life at home.
Saturday mornings have their gentle rhythm. I amble down to the vibrant Northcote Road, where the scent of freshly brewed coffee beckons from quaint cafes, the buzz of the people wandering around and populating their favourite eatery or bar.
My mornings on Northcote Road start with a sit-down coffee at Al Gusto before casually browsing the charity shops. These are a must for me as the quality of the items for sale is a league above what I get at home, and so much of my wardrobe is purchased here.
As the clock nudges towards noon, my steps, almost instinctively, lead me to a familiar haven – Buona Sera. This isn’t just any restaurant; it’s my go-to spot, a place with an atmosphere of tranquillity and warmth. The staff here aren’t just employees; they’re more like friends, greeting every patron with beaming smiles and making each visit feel like a homecoming.
• • •
Lunch at Buona Sera
Each visit feels like a new chapter in my gastronomic novel, rich in flavour and tradition. With its tapestry of Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, and European dishes, the menu speaks directly to my palate. It offers a universal language of exquisite tastes and authentic recipes, each meticulously crafted, each bite narrating its own delicious story.
My journey always begins and occasionally stops with the starters; sometimes, I only need a double espresso and a starter to refuel before continuing my shopping adventures.
Aubergines stuffed with Mozzarella baked in a rich tomato sauce.
This is probably my favourite dish; it’s a collection of simple yet flavourful ingredients, bringing the humble aubergine to new heights. Stuffed generously with the creamiest mozzarella and baked to perfection in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a real taste explosion that continues with every bite, leaving a lasting impression that I want to make this at home but am not brave enough to ask how they make it,
Crostone In Bagno Cauda
Grilled Polenta with roasted red peppers and a sauce of anchovies and garlic
The dish, a masterpiece of contrasting textures and bold flavours, immediately drew me in. The grilled polenta formed the perfect base, its crispy exterior giving way to a soft, comforting interior. This was elegantly topped with roasted red peppers, their smokiness and subtle sweetness infusing the dish with a depth of flavour that was utterly captivating. But the true star was the Bagno Cauda sauce, a daring concoction of anchovies and garlic. Its piquancy and richness danced on my palate, elevating the humble polenta and peppers to a level of sophistication
• • •
A Humble Beginning
The beginning of Buona Sera starts not in its current home in Clapham but in its birthplace, Battersea, back in 1989. It began as a small establishment, a modest venture aspiring to serve authentic Italian cuisine. Little did anyone know, this humble restaurant was sowing the seeds for a legacy spanning over a quarter of a century.
Buona Sera’s Growth
Buona Sera blossomed as years turned into decades, its roots deepening in South London’s community fabric. The transition from Battersea to the bustling Northcote Road in Clapham marked a significant milestone in its journey. This wasn’t just a change of location; it was Buona Sera coming into its own, ready to embrace a larger stage, prepared to tell its story to a broader audience.
A Family Affair
it’s the generations of patrons who’ve walked through its doors. Families have grown up with Buona Sera, celebrating milestones from birthdays to anniversaries, with each visit adding a page to their own story. The restaurant has a rare gift: it doesn’t just serve meals; it weaves memories, binding the community with a thread of shared experiences.
Over the years, Buona Sera has not just witnessed the changing landscapes of Battersea and Clapham but has been an integral part of their evolution. Buona Sera isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a landmark; it’s not just where you eat; it’s where you belong.
• • •
Buaona Sera has received 303 reviews on Tripadvisor with an average rating of 4 out of 5.
The reviews are primarily positive, with many customers praising the quality of the food. One reviewer described the food as “great” and “delicious.” Another reviewer mentioned that the restaurant’s pizza was “just the right side of firm” and that the tomato and mozzarella salad had “the best mozzarella” they had tasted all year.
However, some reviewers have criticised the service at the restaurant. One reviewer mentioned that the service was “appalling” and that the waiters were “unfriendly”. Another reviewer said that the service was “shameful³.
I have to say my personal experiences have all been great, and it’s one of the reasons why I keep going back. The staff are amicable, always say hello to men and ask me how I have been. The food is always good, and the Aubergine dish is incredible. Beyond the food, the restaurant is very budget-friendly, too, and you walk away feeling full, content and not ripped off. It won’t win Michelin stars, but I want reasonably priced, home-cooked food.
Please do visit and make up your mind.
• • •
Buona Sera, cherished for its authentic Italian cuisine, radiates warmth and familiarity, making each visit delightful. Patrons praise the exquisite dishes, particularly the Melanzane Ripiene and Crostone In Bagno Cauda, for their rich flavours and impeccable presentation. While most reviews glow with satisfaction, emphasising the inviting atmosphere and culinary excellence, a few note variations in service. My personal experiences echo the majority’s sentiment: Buona Sera is a haven of heartwarming food and amiable service, a testament to the vibrant spirit of authentic Italian dining.
• • •
Address: 22 Northcote Road, London SW11 1NX England
Telpehone: 0207 228 9925