Saturday 19 April 2008

La Gastronomia, Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill

Reasonably-priced Italian deli doing a thriving trade despite an unpromising location in a short strip of tatty shops half way between Herne Hill and Dulwich Village. Packed to the rafters with tasty morsels to takeaway or eat-in, La Gastronomia's sturdy inside tables and compact garden are popular with local parents and their lively offspring who nibble on snacks, ranging from slices of apple pie to spinach and ricotta puffs, while sipping on very creamy and chocolaty cappuccinos (£1.70). Particularly good are the caramel slices (£1.10), which quite literally melt in the mouth. It can get noisy, but toys and books are on hand to keep the youngest customers entertained. On a Saturday, La Gastronomia is staffed by three young women who work their socks off to keep up with the constant flow of customers. 7/10