Tel: +44 (0)20 7381 1122
Address: 585 Fulham Road, London SW6 5UA
Cuisine Type: Italian
Fulham Broadway (DISTRICT)
Napule, as the name suggests, is a restaurant offering southern Italian fare. An enormous table full of antipasti delicacies greets you as you walk through the door into a narrow space between two outdoor walls, inventively covered with a conservatory roof and clearly using a space that might once have been a garden to cram more tables in at the back.
The food begins with some home made bread delivered to your table. Repeated requests for it to be accompanied by olive oil and balsamic vinegar went unheeded, so we moved on to the menu. A selection of antipasti, including buffet misto, a “traditional neapoletan tapas” selection served with home made bread, is selected for you by your waiter, rushed and brusque even on a Monday evening, which is perhaps a shame. Other alternatives includesaute misto; clams and mussels cooked in garlic, chile and olive oil, parmigiana di melaneze; fried and then baked aubergines stuffed with mozzarella and permesan cheese, basil and tomato sauce. Salsicce e peperoni is a neapoletan home made sausage, not unlike Cumberland sausage in appearance, which turns up with a selection of peppers. All of the starters cost £6.50, which is frankly more than they should cost for what you get. The pizzas in the main menu, however, range from just £4.95 to £8.50, are made in a burning wood oven and, at 250g each, are likely to be filling too. There are thirteen to choose from and the chef, who “puts his heart into his pizzas” according to the menu, will not add or amend the toppings. We didn’t request such things anyway, opting instead for pennette alla siciliana – rather overcooked quill pasta with aubergines, basil and parmesan cheese in tomato sauce with ricotta cheese – and linguine allo scoglio – thin ribbon pasta with clams, mussels, tiger prawn garlic, chilli and tomato sauce which looked and tasted pleasing.
The main menu is supplemented by a specials sheet, again dominated by fish and shellfish, including a fish pie for the charming price of £15.50, linguine and tagliatelle with the ubiquitous clams, mussels and prawns and a steak. The main menu’s primi piatti was more reasonably priced, with a selection of four pasta dishes, including spaghetti del marinaio; with swordfish, clams and cherry tomatoes. These ranged between £8 and £9.50, while thesecondi piatti – all two of them, for the rest of the main courses were on the specials sheet – were around the £14 mark. A choice of lamb or sea bass was available. We’d also ordered a green salad and the buffet misto, but the green salad unfortunately never made an appearance.
The wine list included Sicilian corvo biano and many other Italian offerings, ranging from £11 for the house wine to £24.50 for a greco from Feudi di San Gregorio. Limoncello, finocchietto and peroni were among the other drinks available. An involuntary cover charge is boldly declared on the menu; puddings were not, but the coffee, as one might expect from an Italian establishment, was rather fine.
Ultimately, Napule is an incredibly busy and noisy restaurant, featuring many Italians amongst the assorted clientele, plus surprisingly poor customer service and rather average food – at £30 a head.