It’s time for London’s Michelin star restaurants to step aside. Trattoria Raffaele – situated a few doors down from the Lidl supermarket on Sydenham Road – has just taken the prized number one spot on Tripadvisor…making it one of London’s most sought after restaurants. Small, family run and in an unfashionable corner of south east London, it’s not exactly what you would ‘expect’ to be the joint giving restaurants such as Le Gavroche, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the Ledbury a run for their money. And yet, a series of rave reviews has resulted in booking enquiries from Beijing and Arizona! Talk about news travelling far!
Owner Raffaele Giannandrea, 44, explained: “We find it quite amusing because not everybody knows where Sydenham is. We get a lot of foreigners coming over. A family came from Arizona recently.” Mr Giannandrea grew up around the restaurant which has been on the high street for 45 years, back when it was run by his father Dominic. Mr Giannandrea took over the restaurant in 2008 after a career as a professional golfer and transformed it from an ‘old-fashioned’ traditional restaurant to one with a more modern feel (and a different name). But still, everything is made right then and there from scratch, with the ethos of the place remaining the same: to bring the atmosphere and simple, rustic dishes of a traditional southern Italian trattoria to Lewisham.
The menu consists of roast pork belly, sea bass, homemade fettuccine, meatballs made with pork and veal, as well as the classics such as bolognese and margherita pizzas. YUM! One of its 137 reviewers wrote: “This is such a great restaurant, one of my favourites in London. The food (especially the pizzas), the wine, the people, the service are all amazing.” The top spot on Tripadvisor is so temperamental that we’re sure soon enough another of London’s many delizioso restaurants will catch up…but for now – COMPLIMENTI TRATTORI!
94 Sydenham Rd, London SE26 5JX
Featured Image Credit: Evening Standard