Posted on Monday, 18th August 2014
Bibo is the latest venture by Rebecca Mascarenhas, a restaurateur known for the Michelin Starred Kitchen W8 and the acclaimed Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes, both of which are collaborations with Philip Howard of The Square. With Bibo, Rebecca has gone Italian. Head chef Chris Beverley, previously at Theo Randall at the InterContinental, has created a modern Italian menu that focuses on seasonality, freshness and simplicity. The wine list is Italian as well and includes a list of approximately 60 bins covering regional Italy.
Located in Putney, Bibo goes about bringing a sense of warmth to its interior. The long painted brickwork dining room and bar has been fitted with a mixture of artworks, bespoke light fittings and comforting oak wood furniture. Bibo is informal and relaxed with an inviting neighbourhood feel to it, made all the enjoyable with its welcoming and friendly service.
We started with an antipasta of prosciutto di San Daniele (£8.50) which was wonderful with a robust yet sweet flavour. It came with some juicy and ripe Sicilian melon that paired perfectly with the prosciutto.
A salad of baby leeks with truffle dressing (£6.50) also proved to be really exciting on the palate. The leeks were charred and ever so sweet, and there was the addition of some different types of beetroot to add colour as well as flavour. The dressing was light and fragrant and the addition of pangrattato breadcrumbs gave the salad a fabulous crunchiness.
A monkfish main served with borlotti beans, datterini tomatoes and rocket (£20) was particularly pleasing with the fish being meaty and moist. The beans had been dressed with a delicious and aromatic mixture of lemon juice, parsley and marjoram. The tomatoes were firm and sweet and gave the dish a nice balance.
Slightly less successful were the pan fried calves livers (£17). Although they were rich in flavour, they were also a touch overcooked. On the side was a mixture of coco beans, kale and girolles, all of which were tasty. There was also a balsamic dressing that completed the dish nicely with its touch of acidity.
We really enjoyed the dessert of almond tart with strawberries (£6.50) which we had with a delicious vanilla ice cream rather than crème fraiche. The pastry was thin and flaky and the almond filling was nutty and moist. The chocolate and ginger cake (£6) wasn’t as big a hit however. Although moist, it didn’t quite boast the most chocolate-y of flavours.
Bibo has proven itself to be yet another charming neighbourhood restaurant by Rebecca Mascarenhas. The cooking was accomplished and the food was enjoyable in a rustic, satisfying sort of way. The congenial feel of the restaurant and the warm service makes this an easy choice for eating out in Putney. Prices were reasonable too.
Food rating: 3.5/5
Service rating: 3.75/5
Prices: £28 to £43 for three courses, excludes drinks and service.