Like getting to anywhere in Bermondsey, the journey to Flour & Grape can be long. You need to take at least ten modes of public transport, ride a skateboard and then fly an Uber dragon to avoid the maze of obnoxious Southwark road closures. But we’d be willing to make the journey from time to time for a meal at Flour & Grape.
Flour & Grape is part of the trend of restaurants who seem to believe they just invented the concept of serving high-quality pasta. Padella started the whole thing, and we still think it’s the best of the bunch. But eating there, or, we should say, waiting to be seated there, has become enough to test the limits of your very British willingness to queue. That’s where Flour & Grape comes in. Yes, you’ll have to travel to Bermondsey to eat there, but you can expect to have a plate or two of very good, fairly-priced pasta in front of you pretty quickly.
On the food front, Flour & Grape is definitely punching in the same weight category as Padella. The starters, like the burrata, are all very nice crowd pleasers that vanquish any growling stomachs, but you’re of course really here to get knee deep in some bowls of carbohydrates. And the short pasta menu is varied enough to suit whatever mood you are in after your travels: there’s a cacio e pepe bucatini to match your “my feet hurt” mood, ragu pappardelle to match your “I got proper lost” mood, and a light tomato and fish linguine to match your “I need a glass of white wine right now” mood. The real knockout dish, however, is the roasted pork shoulder tortelloni. These magical meat parcels are lightly drenched in sage and butter, and they’re completely unshareable. We mean, you could share them, obviously, but you’re not going to want to. And at £9 a plate, a second order is completely reasonable.
The place itself works well for a variety of situations - a classy (but cheap) date, catching up with mates, a cheap (but classy) birthday dinner, or when you just need to classily stuff a plate full of pasta down your throat. You can even make a reservation if you want to eat before 6.30pm, but, if you’re there later, the cosy downstairs gin bar turns any wait into a welcome one. All of which makes the fifteen-minute hike when we can’t face the wait at Padella seem more like a thing we would voluntarily do. But we might just take that Uber dragon instead.
This is the star of the show. These parcels of roasted pork shoulder drenched in butter and sage will make you forget where you are, who you are, and that you recently spent two-and-a-half hours trying to get to this place.
A great version of a dish that restaurants shouldn’t get wrong, although a surprising number do. This creamy burrata should be one of the first things to order when you sit down.
This is a pretty dish with beetroot and tomatoes, which is nice enough. But not as nice as the burrata.
Their version of a cacio e pepe using thick hollow noodles isn’t as as good as the version at Padella, but it’s not far off.
For ragu fans, this is a winner. It’s rich, packs a lot of flavor, and is a relief after eating lame ragu dishes all across London. Is it so hard to get this dish right? Apparently so.
Chunks of meaty white fish in a tomato & chilli sauce with great linguine. We approve.
Disclosure: one member of The Infatuation team is not a huge ice cream or gelato fan (it was a childhood trauma thing… don’t worry about it). But this tiramisu gelato has converted them. They now believe in the power of ice cream.
A terribly rich chocolate mousse-style dessert, which is terribly good.