Restaurant: The Honest Italian – Balham, London*

Tonight we had the pleasure of being invited along to Balham’s The Honest Italian, a small restaurant specialising in ‘Instagram friendly’ pizzas. Expectations were high of the meal as TripAdvisor reviews were excellent, and we can now say that our expectations were not matched. But surpassed.

From the outside, we were struck by how dark the decor was, matched by the dimly lit interior. For some restaurants this really works, but an interesting choice considering their importance of being ‘Instagram friendly.’ We all know that bright natural light makes for the best Insta pics.

We have to say we received less than a warm welcome – after I introduced ourselves I was barely given a chance to finish my sentence before I was met with an “oh sure,” and point towards our table.

However, from there on, the service was excellent throughout, and our waiter was very attentive and friendly.

We both opted for a small glass of house white. Neither of us are hardly wine connoisseurs so we can’t tell you what it was, but personally it was the best wine I have ever had. The flavours weren’t overpowering over the rest of the meal and it was generally easy to drink.

After having our order taken, the starters arrived within minutes, as did our second and third course. Fast service was definitely a stand out point from the evening, and we weren’t the only ones to be treated to this. Comments of “oh that was quick” were overheard from neighbouring tables, and due to this, two tables who came in after us, were also gone long before us.

Maybe the two people who came in for a takeaway whilst we were there knew this. Again, served within moments.

Lasagna al forno – layered sheets of pasta with our homemade slow cooked meat ragu sauce, with red wine and onions,topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese – £8.95 – Jessica

In this case, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking the food might not be fresh. You’d be wrong. The starters of classic bruschetta and garlic bread had a slight crunch on the outside, and discussions were had if we’d ever had softer bread in the middle. Both were buttery and strongly flavoured, made even better by the chilli oil that was on the table throughout. It gave it an extra dimension and strong kick, just as we like it.

Again, our mains were served extremely quickly. I chose the Pizza al Pollo, a fairly simple pizza and although it was faultless, I wish I’d been a bit more experimental in the end. The thing was, I wanted one with meat which other than Italian meats, left me with only a few options. The base was thin and crispy, but by no means dry, but also by no means difficult to handle. It was cooked to perfection.

Pizza al pollo – smoked chicken, tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, dolcelatte and red onions – £12.50 – James

The lasagne used classic ingredients, but the cooking red wine took it to the next level, filled with enough cheese to not need to be offered extra Parmesan. We’re not sure if they purposely didn’t offer, but it wasn’t at all missed.

By the the time our main had been finished, we were left feeling suitably full. But after being tantilised by the blackboard display of desserts, we we were also left wanting more. After having to ask for the dessert menu, I opted for the chocolate brownie, a mix of dark and milk chocolate, soft and sumptuous flavours. The Italian ice cream that went alongside was perfect!

Jessica’s Banoffee pie resembled more of a cheesecake, but that was no problem and it was a great way to end a fantastic first experience at The Honest Italian.

Whether you are ordering in from Deliveroo, popping in for a takeaway or having a three course dinner like ourselves, you are guaranteed fast service, quality food, and relaxing atmosphere here. Their impressive array of awards displayed near the door are testament to that.

Do check them out on social media (details below), and if you are in the area fancying something honestly Italian, this is of course where you should be heading towards.

Food: ★★★★

Customer service: ★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★★

Toilets: ★★★

Site: thehonestitalian.com
Facebook: /thehonestitalian

Twitter: @HonestItalian
Instagram: the_honest_italian

Phone: 0208 772 0636


13, Station Parade

Balham High Road

Balham, London
SW12 9AZ

Nearest station: Balham (Northern line)

*We were in invited as guest to review, meals and drinks were complimentary but all views are our own

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  1. Breanna Catharina
    January 19, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    I work in an Italian restaurant, and I can't even tell people about half the wines I take to the table. Like, it's white? Haha, but all your food looks yummy. I do agree the dim light is an interesting choice for "instagramable" food. Either way, I guess it being tasty is what actually matters. It looks like the decor is nice too. A lovely review, as always.

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 11:58 am

      OMG do you really!? Hahahah that's so funny!It was super tasty and we did manage to get some good instagrams with some tweeking!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  2. Marikah Blank
    January 19, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    You know everything is always so yummmy! You make me hungry everytike I visit your blog or Instagram lol. I sooo want this! lol

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 11:58 am

      Hahaha we just love food!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  3. Paris Cross
    January 19, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    This looks gorgeous, I love that they market themselves as "instagram friendly", haha! I really fancy a pizza now…Paris xhttp://lifeinflorals.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 11:59 am

      Hahaha in this day and age, it's the way to advertise!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  4. sophieannetaylor
    January 19, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Oh man I shouldn't have read this whilst I was waiting for my dinner </3 all of it looks great ~ and reasonably priced! The lasagne and brownie would be what I'd order too, the lasagne looks like heaven! Although I'd have to agree for an Instagram friendly place it's quite dimly lit ;D but it's the food in interested in 🙂 xxsophieannetaylor.blogspot.co.uk

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 11:59 am

      Hahaha that's always the number one mistake but also good hahahaThank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  5. Ash Austin
    January 19, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    I'm super glad I just ate lunch so I wasn't dying while looking at these pictures! THAT PIZZA!!!

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 11:59 am

      It was so tastyyyyThank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  6. Chloe
    January 19, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    Hi, this post has made me very hungry. It was great to hear about the quick speed at which your food arrived. My pet hate is waiting too long for food. The added wine to the lasagna sounds delicious. I would have opted for a chicken pizza minus the cheese. I'm sure many others will enjoy this eatery. Thanks for sharing, Chloe https://pinkiebag.com #TeacupClub

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      The service was impeccable and the food came so quickly, was not starved at all!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  7. Megan Lisa
    January 19, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    This restaurant sounds wonderful and reading this has definitely made me very hungry! X

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      It really was!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  8. abbeylouisarose
    January 19, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Can't knock a good Italian, and this one looks fantastic! Great to hear that the service was so good, attentive waiting staff make all the difference to a meal haha! I'm not much of a white wine lover but even I'd like to try the wine you describe, it sounds very tempting indeed! If I'm ever in the Balham area, I'll know where to stop for dinner!Abbey 😍 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      I truly believe this! Neither is James but he really enjoyed it and finished his before me!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  9. Victoria
    January 19, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    The food sounds fab! I'm obsessed with bruschetta so that really caught my eye x

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      Ugh it was the best I've ever had!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  10. Nechi Nesia
    January 20, 2017 / 3:52 am

    So yummy omg ' w) By the ways I'm curious with the pizza, so tempting tbh XD and the cake in the last picture. I can;t take my eyes off from those cake.Nechi xx http://wduefm.wordpress.com

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      It was all so so good!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  11. Connie Consumes
    January 20, 2017 / 11:29 am

    I've walked past this many times and always thought it looked nice but never ventured in… might consider it now!

    • Food & Baker
      January 20, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      If your down for quick service and tasty food, you really should!!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

  12. Francesca Nelson
    January 23, 2017 / 11:35 am

    What a great honest review!!! I'm always so picky with Italian resturants but I love the meals you chose it all looks a treat and sounds amazing!!! http://Www.mylifeinrosetintedglasses.com

    • Food & Baker
      January 31, 2017 / 10:44 am

      It had to be done! it was really tasty though!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💓

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