Da Peppino is the only Italian restaurant in the Plumstead/Welling area that I have come across, discounting Pizza Hut in Woolwich and Pizza Express in nearby Bexleyheath. And as I visit friends in the area regularly, I was quite keen to try their local Italian restaurant.
Rather than going for the rustic, “mamma’s place” look that many Italian eateries seem to go for, Da Peppino has a classy, upmarket feel to it. By this I mean napkins which match the tablecloths, a trendy brown/white colour scheme running throughout and waiters dressed in uniform. It is certainly the most elegant restaurant in the immediate area; the sort of place you go to for a special occasion or to impress somebody.
My friend and I decided to go for the set lunch menu – three courses for £12.95, including a glass of the house wine.
For our starters, we plumped for the Formaggio Fritto – deep fried brie served with cranberry sauce. I’ve eaten the same dish in a couple of Italian restaurants. There are few ways that a plate of deep-fried cheese can go wrong; here the serving was generous and the brie crispy, not soggy, so no complaints.
My main course was the Medaglione di maiale alla romana. It comprised two pieces of pork, wrapped in parma ham, and cooked in a sage and white wine sauce, served with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. This dish was faultless – the meat was perfectly cooked and the sauce a great complement to the pork.
Dessert had to be tiramisu. There are certain dishes, certain staples such as pizza Margherita, lasagne and tirumisu by which you can judge the strength of an Italian restaurant and compare it to others. If a restaurant can’t do these staples well, then there’s not much hope for the rest of the menu either. Happily, the tiramisu was delicious. Often, I complain that the chef has added too much or too little liqueur to the mixture, but here it straddled the very fine line between overpowering and undetectable.
Although I would be hard-pressed to cross London to eat there, Da Peppino is a great Italian restaurant in an area which lacks good places to eat out (Italian or otherwise). The large size of the premises means the restaurant can often be a bit empty, although this does mean you are pretty much guaranteed a seat even on busy weekends.
For good food and reasonable prices, Da Peppino is definitely a place to visit if you’re in the south east.
Da Peppino, 125-129 Bellegrove Road, Welling, Kent, DA16 3QS