I write this under duress. Imagine I am strapped to the whicker chair and a man – I dare not reveal who – is holding a pistol to the golden retriever’s head. “Write, or the dog gets it,” he barks. The dog looks mournful already. “Tell the good people of London about this Italian restaurant that is so good.”
I have held out for weeks now, (months even) trying to avoid the man. He got me this morning. And the dog (it is not mine, the owner is shouting at me: “Tell them. PLEASE. You won’t let the dog die for the sake of a restaurant review? Would you?”
Who knows who will turn up if I tell? The good news is that most of the reviews on TripAdviser are from Sundays and Sundays being Sundays around the corner from Columbia Road flower market they are all from grockles, out of towners. And no one can cope with the flower market crowd. Even the espresso queues go round the block. It is mental. Do not go on Sundays. Have a bagel and go home and enjoy your flowers. In fact don’t go at all. No, don’t shoot the dog. I will tell all..I promise. I will…
- Can we just call it C? Or Cam?
- Spell it out
Campania used to be around the corner on Columbia Road but there was a falling out with the landlady and petitions and it had to close…only it moved around the corner to Ezra Street (which is hardly a street at all) what used to be the bakery S. Jones only it was not a bakers just a front for film shoots looking for a 1920’s grocer’s shop. It was a bit higgledy-piggledy and upside down, anyway somehow Campania managed to squeeze in, fit a kitchen in the back, go back to the brickwork, put in a long table – one long table – and a few bar stools, another small table in the side room, and another one round the back so you cannot call it a bar or restaurant or anything it is just a gastronomica which is somewhat hostage to people using it as a coffee shop or screenwriter’s workshop. If the sun shines there are a couple of tables outside. But it has what you might want in a place – a chef who knows what he is doing and front of house that works fine when it is not being distressed by the flower market.
The menu is short, southern Italian usually a few variations on antipasti and pasta, a risotto, maybe a fish soup, you get to grate your own Parmesan.
Even the plates, Japanese style, are not conforming but individual. And it is rather closer to those Japanese places that are impossible to find and only have a few stools at a counter and are booked up months ahead even though they are very expensive.
In that regard it is uniquely of itself. Do not please spoil it. If you want a private party of an evening for a dozen or so of you, it would be perfect. This blog has not gone viral as yet and is only read by a select few, so keep it to yourself. You saved a dog’s life to read this.
Campania, 23 Ezra Street, London E2 7RH, England
0207 613 0015 no website