Ballaro – Sicilian Restaurant in North London

Please note that Ballaro has since closed.

Having taken over The Haverstock Pub on Haverstock Hill, Ballaro has been welcomed into the neighbourhood with open arms and high praise.

The restaurant takes its name from a famous food market in Sicily and as such, there is a focus on home-made Sicilian specialities made with fresh ingredients.

We begin with the deep friend squid and the burrata starters. The squid is perfectly crispy and the accompanying chilli lime mayonnaise has a nice kick.

The Burrata is one of my favourite parts of our dinner: it is so incredibly fresh and creamy and the simplicity of the plum tomatoes and basil made a perfect pairing.

My guest and I then share the Ricotta Gnudi with Saffron infused Pecorino Cheese and Pistachio Nuts, an absolute must-have at the restaurant and worth the trip alone.

With the restaurant known for its fresh seafood, my guest orders the Sicilian Couscous with Scallops, Prawns and Octopus as a main dish while I opt for the Sea Bream in a Paprika and Orange marinade.

I’m not a big fan of orange flavourings but the marinade for the Sea Bream was punchy without being overpowering. The Couscous is a house speciality and another must have at the restaurant. Light, flavourful and a great showcase of fresh Sicilian cuisine.

It wouldn’t be an Italian meal without some Tiramisu to round out the meal and Ballaro makes a mean one. We pair it with a simple Vanilla Ice Cream with a shot of espresso and coffee liqueur – which gives us a much needed jolt after our dinner.

I leave the restaurant a Sicilian food convert. It has all the best characteristics of Italian food – simple and strong flavours, seasonal ingredients – without the heaviness of a lot of cream, butter and pasta. Buon Appetito!

Concierge’s Tip: Expect a long and impressive wine list (if you like Italian wine that is!) Save yourself the time though and ask the experts – the staff are more than equipped to pick out the perfect pairings.

For further information on Ballaro, click here to visit their website.

Please note that Ballaro has since closed.

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