Monday, 12 July 2010

Adventures In Food

As 'Avventura' prepares to open its doors tomorrow evening, the Worcester Park Blog takes an exclusive look at (and taste of) the town's newest restaurant which promises to bring the West End to Worcester Park. 

It's a brave of anyone to go into the restaurant business at all - let alone in the midst of an economic downturn, in sizeable premises (with up to 100 covers) and in a town which already has its fair share of Italian eateries.

Yet that is just what Salvatore, Michele and Roberto, the team behind Avventura, have decided to do - and they bring to their new venture an impressive track record in Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK, France and Italy.

Avventura's menu invariably reflects the restaurant's High Street location, but whilst the food on offer is more accessible and down-to-earth than would be found in the Central London and Michelin-starred establishments to which the team are accustomed, the emphasis on quality remains and the passion for authentic Italian cuisine is undiminished.

It is with just such passion that Salvatore tells me of his search for quality seasonal ingredients, paying that little bit extra to guarantee the finest and freshest produce. Where possible he sources his meat, seafood and vegetables from local suppliers but only if they can meet his exacting standards.

Salvatore and Michele, at the pasta-making table!

The freshness of ingredients extends to the pasta - which is not only cooked to order but also freshly made by hand each day on the pasta table at the back of the resturant (if you are so minded, just ask to see the team's impressive array of pasta-making equipment).

Salvatore's passion for authentic Italian cuisine is matched by that Chef Michele Brogi who has previously worked alongside Giorgio Locatelli at Zafferano and most recently in Florence’s three-Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri.

The quality of the ingredients and the skill of the team back of house is inevitably reflected in Avventura's pricing . Expect to pay around £8 for a meat-based appetizer and £13 for a fish main - towards the higher end for Worcester Park, but by no means extravagant.

In addition to the appetizing menu of fish, meat, pasta and pizza dishes there is a range of Chef's specialities (squid burger or oven-roasted suckling pig, anyone?), although these dishes do need to be pre-ordered.

When I found out that another Italian eatery was set to open in the old Caffe Piccolo unit, I somewhat sceptically asked how this new venture could hope to succeed where Piccollo had failed and how it could even begin to compete against the might of Pizza Express as well as the two other Italian restaurants in Worcester Park.

The answer, as I found out on my visit last night, is that it won't really try to compete - at least not directly. As Salvatore himself puts it, he will simply allow the quality of the food at Avventura to 'speak for itself' (presumably with an Italian accent), carving a niche by offering high-end but accessible authentic Italian food.

The restaurant is family friendly, but instead of patronising its younger clientele with the the usual nuggets-and-chips options, children up to 12 years of age are able to choose smaller portions of any of their dishes at a discount of 30% on the regular prices.

Avventura is staking a bold claim to the quality end of the Worcester Park restaurant scene and if the great dishes and friendly service I experienced are maintained (the starter of burrata mozzarella was simply exquisite for a warm summer's evening and you simply haven't lived until you have sampled Chef Michele Brogi's buffalo ricotta and basil pesto ravioli) then this will be the most welcome addition to Central Road for many a year.

The Worcester Park Blogger enjoyed...

Starter: Burrata mozzarella with olive oil (served on a bed of aubergine and garnished with anchovies, olives and oven-roasted tomatoes): £4.95

Main: Ravioli of buffalo ricotta & basil pesto with cold tomato sauce: £9.95

Dessert: "Meringata" crispy meringues with wild berries & lemon sorbet: £5.00

Avventura opens on Tuesday 13th July at 82-86 Central Road, Worcester Park. Tel: 020 8335 3355 -

The adjoining 'Espesso' cafe is due to open late July/early August.

77 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

NS said...

Ooh, that sounds lovely! It will be nice to have business going again on that stretch of the high street. I'm particularly looking forward to the cafe opening; I'm getting bored of Costa!

monkeygirl said...

Me Too

Susie Cutie said...

A new coffee shop - my old man will be pleased! But £10 for a plate of pasta is a bit rich if you ask me

Dave said...

Wishing this every success and hoping it's as good as it sounds. It's about time Worcester Park got somewhere decent to eat and hope everyone realises that. I fear Susie Cutie will be typical of local residents though...

albert said...

Lets hope this place gets the prices right as well as the ingredients - they really need to have a good value set price menu and move away from the usual Italian rip off of charging separately for veg etc with mains, which can add £6 to £10 to a main course. £10 for a pasta dish is high - at this price it should be good and a decent size. Shame they didn't promote an opening offer on this blog - particularly with the current half price offer at the Midas Touch. I wish hem luck, particularly in an area which is already saturated with eateries - still they wont be trying to compete will one of the most popular suppliers of fried chicken or the Pizza place opposite.

Gordo's neighbour said...

I walked in for lunch with the family on Saturday. They told us it wasn't opening officially until Tuesday, but they were serving anyway, so we stayed. Bottom line - food was very good, service had its issues (took ages for bread to come, no oil or butter to go with it). For the prices they charge, they'll have to get their act together. But did I say the food was excellent? (The five year old wanted to go back on Sunday.)

After our discovery of the Midas Touch last weekend, that's two very decent places new on WP High St (even if the cuisine is overrepresented already). I hope they both work out because the food in both places was good.

Anonymous said...

Soo nice.'ll be a really good restaurant,with great service and excellente products,for sure.Good people.


Kingshill Billy said...

Just had evening dinner at the said eatery and sadly it left a bit to be desired.

I had a top dish in the form of Welsh lamb but the "slow cooked pork belly" was actually bacon rind blasted to oblivion in the deep fat fryer.

As per above all extras are shamelessly charged for and "stuffed tomatoes" at £4 turned out to be one tomato cut in half.

Bread basket with olive oil to dip in should be complimentary at any proper italian eaterie but came with a £2.50 tag.

My 9 year old loved the pizza and she is a bit of a conneseur so I my advice is to go for the fresh stone baked pizza but then again the place across the road has sort of cornered that market.

I look forward to the cafe bit getting going any minute as it appears to focus on proper coffee rather than milkshakes like Costa's.

Albert said...

Thank you for your very quick review, Kingshill Billy. I did want to try it myself this evening, but didn't in the end. You've confirmed my fears - at the prices I saw it has to be top notch for Worcester Park. They are obviuosly trying the Italian restaurant rip-off of charging for sides - £4 for half a tomato is not on, and as you say, bread and oil should be free. Hopefully the pizzas will beat both the pizza places opposite - it shouldn't be too difficult. Looks like we may end up with a pizzeria and coffee shop. Let them settle in and they'll hopefully realise that the set menu is the way to go.

Pasta La Vista said...

We went along there last night - food was absolutely fantastic!! Very very tasty and far superior to your average Italian. I can highly recommend a visit here if you want proper quality food and are happy to pay a little extra for it.

BenjyP said...

Went to Avventura last night, found the staff to be a huge improvement in comparison to the previous Italian eatery that was based at this location. The food was brilliant, all of the dishes were of a exceptionally high quality, the pasta was much better than any that I have had at any others in the extended local area. I do accept that due to the subjectivity of taste and the range of individuals' tastes that there will be inevitable disagreement. The menu is particularly good although it is more in line with what you see in regional focused Italian restaurants and stays away from the La Mamma style a bit of everything and 8 different steaks, so again may not be for everyone. Anyone with a broad palate who truly loves food will discover a dish on here that they will find themselves struggling not to lick clean.

As for the authenticity of the Italian-ness I will happily be bringing my father in law down to give it a go, especially the home made ice creams which he claims he rarely gets them as good outside of Ancona.

Samantha said...

My husband took me to this restaurant last night for my birthday and I loved it. We're foodie people and travel miles to go to good restaurants. The dinner we had was perfectly cooked, seasoned and flavoured: from the beautifully crisp calamari, to the delicious prawn, pea and mint tagliatelli (the sauce, omg the sauce), to the wonderful home made ice cream to finish.
The front-of-house man, Roberto from Sardinia, was charming, funny and generous. Being a girl of indecision he simply gave me an extra scoop of icecream so I could taste everything (please try the salted toffee one, it's heaven), and then presented us with three shots of liqueur after the meal so I could try his favourite bitter digestif and limoncello as well as my own selection.
The restaurant offers Mediterranean service, so don't go in there expecting Maggiore's style waiting, this isn't a formal setting, it's relaxed and unhurried - exactly how you are supposed to enjoy your meal.
Please do try this restaurant, I would be so so sad if it didn't make it; it deserves to be a success from the evident love that goes into their food.

Debbie James said...

Lovely restaurant.
Enjoyable food, had the lamb, wonderful my husband had the slow cooked belly of pork.
We both very much enjoyed our visit and will go again.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a breath of fresh air to Worcester Park. We chose fish dishes, both the seabass and sole were excellent. The staff were attentive and the service excellent.There is good selection of Italian wines and the prices are more than reasonable especially when comparing to the chain restaurant accross the road. We wish Avventura the best of luck and will certainly be visiting again to sample more of the menu.

Anonymous said...

We look forward to eating there this weekend.
Wish you all the luck!!!!!
Mrs Hessian

Mrs C said...

I've now been to this restaurant twice - once for a lovely (yet sadly rare) evening meal with my hubbie and then back at the weekend with my folks and our 2 1/2 yr old. Both experiences were pure food enjoymemt - left our tastbuds tingling and wanting more! Fantastic that this type of restaurant is coming to this area - so nice to have such a warm, friendly, quality local to save us having to make trips in to more central London to find similar. I would also say that it is rare to find somewhere that can be both romantic and then also family friendly - the care, passion and warmth of the staff - added to the amazing food will see our family (& friends) returning again & again. Well done!

SheppyD said...

Went there today. Had some Garlic Bread (waited ages for it) and it was very very dry - so I wouldnt recommend it but the Pizza was very tasty.

Anonymous said...

what food should be pure simple and genuine

Anonymous said...

SheppyD - If you didn't like the garlic bread you should have told them - you should give them a chance to put it right, before posting here. I personally don't like soggy Garlic bread - my wife does. It sounds that what they served was something more authentic, but authenticity is not to everyone's taste - there's nothing wrong with that though.

SheppyD said...

Anon - did I say I liked garlic bread soggy???

Why didnt you put down Kingshill Billy's comments about the slow cooked pork belly? Or is your understanding of authentic cooking limited to Garlic Bread?? LOL!!!

Dry Garlic Bread said...

SheppyD - How do you like your Garlic Bread then? Did you tell them?

SheppyD said...

'Dry Garlic Bread' -thanks for caring...I like it pizza dough style but with evidence of garlic and not so dry that I cannot swallow it - but certainly not soggy!!! :)

I wasnt alone in thinking that it was too dry btw... so I guess I am not the only 'Garlic Bread peasant' in Worcester Park :)

Anonymous said...

Ho appena finito di leggere i lusinghieri commenti ...a quanto pare il mediterranean food piace molto....sono molto felice...(Adelaide)

BenjyP said...

Fermata iscritto in italiano. lasciare l'inglese capire

Anonymous said...

im just not sure what to make of this restaurant, i think it could be amazing but i just dont think they have got it right yet, the place lacks atmosphere, the food is nice but not amazing by any means, its only slightly better then pizza express.
My suggestion is to do a set menu for the whole restaurant at least once a week, like they do at an Italian in Richmond, you pay £35 a head and the chefs can show its customers all of its best dishes. its the only way your going to fill such a big space and make people come along.

Nichu said...

We went there the other evening. The menu looked very tempting, but I opted for pizza in the end, very tasty. I suffer from pizza envy if someone else orders pizza and I don't! The interior is very nicely designed. I wasn't too sure about the chef's specialities - they needed prior ordering by which I assumed you needed to come in or ring up earlier in the day. I could have asked about this I suppose, but I just opted for the standard menu. I wonder how many of the specialities they actually sell? The waiter kept topping up our wine after just a few sips, which isn't really cause for complaint, just a bit annoying. Could do with a few more puddings to choose from, though the tiramisu was lovely. I hope the restaurant does well, it was good quality food and makes a change from the usual chains.

David said...

I agree with the post above - a set price menu in addition to a la carte is the was to go, but I cannot agree with you about the Pizza. What they serve in Avventura is real Italian pizza, not what is served in the establishments across the road, which are a completely different product. I saw the espresso bar is starting to take shape - one to try when it opens, as their espresso's are also excellent here.

Anonymous said...

Went to this resturant this evening. I must say that I was hoping for the food to be better. Very disappointed with the starters which we returned. The resturant did not charge for these. The main course pasta dishes were very average and I have had far better authentic pasta dishes. Overall I would nor choose to visit this resturant again by choice, which is a shame as I was expecting far better.

David said...

Mmmm - out of interest, what was wrong with the Starter? I've eaten here a couple of times and always have been very happy with the food, in particular the pasta - what did you feel was not authentic, because I found them very authentic and typical of ones I have eaten in Italy. I agree, this is not your average British-Italian restaurant, but finally something whic is, in my view at least, more authentic.

Anonymous said...

We have travelled extensively in Italy and enjoy real Italian cooking and certainly don't judge against English Italian ! The starters were very tastless especially the polenta and the brushetta bread was very soggy with little herbs or garlic. My daughter had the raviolis as a main and they were nice as were the gnocci but my pasta was as English Italian as I could imagine and couldn't compare to the really delicious but basic pasta dishes i have had in Sienna, Rome and southern Italy! I wouldn't say the food was bad, except for the starters, it was just dissapointing and I don't hold out much hope for the restaurant and would expect it to go the way of the very bad cafe piccolo

Anonymous said...

Don't know how Avventura can possibly be compared with Cafe Piccolo - the latter being 'completamente schifoso'!! My (Italian) husband and I went to the restaurant on Sunday evening and were really impressed. The food was different and very good and the staff attentive and friendly. And what a nice change it is to have an authentic Italian coffee bar serving authentic Italian coffee in authentic sized cups! Avventura deserves to do well.

Andrew H said...

We ate here on Thursday, and were thoroughly impressed. We had the garlic bread and olives to start, and in response to the comment where the garlic bread was described as 'dry', it probably is compared to pizza hut stodge-fest! It was a beautifully cooked, obviously freshly made, flat bread, with garlic, olive oil and parsley drizzled over, it was crisp and soft, just stunning. And enough for at least 4 people.

The olives were great, the queen olives were as big as plums, i couldnt believe it!

For mains my other half opted for pizza, which knocked the socks off anything served over the road in pizza express. Cooked to perfection in a proper wood oven, the cheese they use isnt plastic mozerella, but proper stuff, and the toppings were great. Massive pizza too. Great stuff.

I had the penne with lemon sole, and it was stunning, great flavours of the fish and the salty olives and capers, was really really tasty.

If i do have one grievance it is the pre-order specials menu, it kind of relies on one knowing the menu off by heart before you go, and i was a bit disappointed as i really really fancied a couple of the things off this menu. But alas, ill remember that for next time. The chef does have specials on each night, and the veal being served on the night we went sounded really good.

We skipped pudding, and went for coffee, i had a corretto (i think!), which was espresso with a shot of liqueur...very very nice. Not acrid and nasty like the espresso from the big chains. My other half had a cappucino, and again, great coffee, world apart from starbucks and costas. Definitely worth a visit just for that.

Service was great, no complaints at all. Really varied menu, not anglo-italian in any sense.

Overall a great night was had, and they had peroni on tap, which is always a thumbs up from me. Great food, lovely little restaurant, nice service, exceptional food.

Please please, it you're thinking of going to pizza express, don't. Go here instead as you will be pleasantly surprised. Lets keep this place open!!!

SheppyD said...

Oh sounds like the owners have read this blog ( never ;)) and have actually started to put Garlic and Oil on the Garlic Bread and with parsley too!!!!!! Wow - we had none of these things when we went!!!

Shame I wont be going back to see the improvement :(

I guess I will have to go to this Pizza Hut you mention because that sounds just yummy scrummy!!!!LOL

Anonymous said...

Have just checked out the adjoining coffee bar and have finally found somewhere else to go other than costa which was boring me somewhat. The range of pastries and coffees were so tempting that I honestly could have spent hours in there. Friendly happy staff rather than the usual miserable faces in costa and a lovely selection of lunchtime fare... slices of pizza and lasagna and lots of cakes and typical italian "snacky biscuits etc". The chef was making the bread and pastries when I arrived as they open early and at least you can see that what you are getting is freshly made a few minutes earlier! I love this place and shall be going back with my friends. There is also a large play area for children which should give a few mums some free time for a quiet coffee.

coffee man said...

on your recommendation i have tried the coffee bar and agree with you, its far better than Costas.

Anonymous said...

best coffee bar in Worcester Park! but staff need to be a bit more with it in getting your orders sorted, apart from that a big bonus to Worcester Park.

Rak said...

I've been here a couple of times now. The last time was a week after a 3 week trip to italy and I have to say I love this place. Its very relaxed and not money oriented, its more about the quality of the food and showing people a good time. This reflects in the staff who are really friendly and have the time to talk (if you want to).

I don't understand these comments about the veg being on the side, side dishes are inherently 'on the side' and you can choose to have them or not. This is the same as in italy, you order meat, you get meat, if you want veg you have to order that seperately.

There were 5 of us last time (one child) and we shared a garlic pizza bread, for mains we had pasta, spaghetti, the pork belly, the lamb and the chicken and all the dishes were superb, you can really taste the quality and the flavours. Its not your standard hit and miss restaraunt like a couple of others in the town, I think its a cut above the rest.

Price wise we paid £65 for that meal for 5 with wine and beer which I thought was very reasonable, I don't mind paying a bit extra to get extra. It wasn't quite 3 courses but we were all full and all agreed that the food was superb. We left feeling very satisfied and had a thouroughly enjoyable evening.

The menu is not standard for an Italian in the UK I'll admit and I saw a few people look at it and walk away and I did think to myself that they didn't know what they were missing! Please don't let the menu put you off, you have to try this place at least once and I'm pretty sure you will go back!

Jamie said...

the food is delicious but it is simply too expensive.
Rak with regards to ordering sides separately in Italy or UK, it is reflected in the price too, so that you don't feel robbed for paying for a small bowl of potatoes at over £3 and on top of your meat at £13 and charging for condiments like mustard!

the coffee section is great - but once again pricey.

it's one of those places that you'd go for a treat, but then again i think at those prices I'd rather save that treat for a great restaurant in London rather than in Worcester Park.

My only complaint is the overpricing so I will finish this off with a positive note - it is a lovely place with lovely staff.

Anonymous said...

We are new in town and wanted to take our guests somewhere nice in town for a night out. Although the service by the waiters was absolutely excellent and very professional, the way our query on ingredients was dealt with by one of the owners wasn't very good. As allergic customers, you need to know whether a dish contains the offending items or not and they weren't very convincing. The meals were tasty but overpriced and very small in amounts.

Anonymous said...

Went to Avventurra on Friday and they have made their seasonal change in line with making sure the best ingredients are in use. It has lead to some awesome new dishes, rolled rabbit loin, some sort of monkfish thing, but scallop tartare with rhubarb being the surprise winner. I would definitely reccomend going down to look at some of the non pasta and pizza options, its still at the higher end of local places cost wish, but I feel genuinely as good as anything in London town.

out-of-towners said...

Stumbled upon this place during our first foray into house hunting in WP and was absolutely delighted with the attentive service, quality and price of the food. Loved that they made my ravioli in front of me and our portion sizes were very reasonable. While our baby slept through the entire meal, I was impressed that they had a dedicated kids play area and the staff were very friendly to the children at the tables around us. Coffee was excellent.

Don't understand the comments here about price ... thought this place was an absolute find compared to our usual haunts in Teddington/Kingston.

We'll definitely be back!

Anonymous said...

Was in there with my 2.5 yr old earlier for morning coffee. Brilliant.

Salvatore (presumably, it was the guy on the left of the photo at the top of this page anyway) was just excellent with the kids in there, very very welcoming.

The kids play area is fantastic, could just let mine get on with playing with others there and enjoy a coffee with friends.

The coffee and pastries are absolutely delightful, and Salvatore even offered up a few tasters for us to sample.

I couldn't give this place any more praise, it is an absolute gem!

One thing I would possibly suggest is that, rather than the kids play area shutting at 5 to make way for extra restaurant tables, they could leave it open until 6pm and have a 'family hour' whereby people could bring their young kids for a pizza or whatever and instead of struggling to contain the youngest ones, they could get on with having a play in the kids area, rather than everyone having to rush and leave before all hell breaks loose.

Great place, and we will be back time and again I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Or why not have the kids play area open from opening time 'til closing time? Then anyone who wants an all-day creche can come here and anyone wanting a restaurant can go elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, that's right, I forgot about the overriding sense of child un-friendliness in Worcester Park. (Or on this blog anyway). Which is strange for a place with so many young families.

It's ok anyway, I think I noticed a sign above the door saying 'miserable bastards not welcome'. So as you suggest, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

It seems you’ve overlooked the possibility that this alleged notice, above the door, could refer to the cantankerous users of the kids play area, particularly since many are indeed of 'unconfirmed' parentage.

Anonymous said...

.......... looks like it's been taken over by the yummies - hope they're rich, they've got the front to charge £4.50 for a two scoop ice cream - it may be very good, but even in highly expensive Venice I paid 3.5 euros this summer for a very large 3 scooper that was exceptional!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yummies? when did you last see a Bugaboo pram in Worcester Park?

Anonymous said...

see bugaboo prams all the time in worcester park, think that they need to do a cheaper priced lunch menu though, we went in there for lunch looked at the prices and walked out, too expensive for a quick lunch.

Michele, Chef Patron Avventura restaurant said...

(excuse my English)
I went to the dentist in worcester park the other day, to stick back a bridge (which I had) and toke an x-ray, roughly 30 minutes all done, I spent 80 pounds, hope you have NHS, as they did not accepted anymore NHS at that time, because to me is a lot of money, if so I would have use some glue myself at DIY, but maybe I would not have had the same result???
Ice cream in Venice for 3.50 euro, good job there is still some honest Italian which charge right price for a good size Ice cream in Italy...
At least at Avventura restaurant, the Ice cream are made with egg yolk pastorized from Italy, Fresh cream, hazelnut from Piemonte (Italy), Pistachio nuts from Bronte, Sicily (Italy), Cioccolato Amedei, from Tuscany (Italy),Vanilla which unfortunatly cannot be found in Italy, but made with vanilla pods from Madagascar, (is this Italian Ice cream? who knows but if we do not have on the menù some people might say why you do not have it? Just to name a few, and we have also Strawberries Ice cream which I believe who asks for this type of ice cream during this period should know at least, if you like to follow seasonality is not really the best period to buy them (for the taste of course, price??) if you are well informed out of season product cost more and have less taste. Extra fine green beans for example which I have to buy them from Kenia because I have to have it on the menù to make people happy, but would they taste the same or cost the same as in season picked from the plant and brought to the table without the help of an airplane.... to import a product in England it is quite expensive I can assure you this, I look for the best product for the most competitive price, we buy English Rib eye(not sirloin which is toughther)(which is not imported but cost more then Argentinian vac pac or frozen meat, not disrispect for this type of meat which I have tried But I won't like my costomer to have it,the English meat is much better, that is why cost more? Fresh fish, salmon I smoke it in house with oak wood, so it makes the flesh of the salmon juicer and tastier (it takes time and effort to do it but once you have it in your mouth is amazing.

Michele said...

seconda parte
. Fresh vegetables, example artichokes I pay each 1 pound the spiky from Italy which are the best in taste, I use one for each pizza 4 stagioni, Olive taggiasche DOP Italian Ligurian olives (and not some of the pitted greek olives,very cheap staff, that I found in the dry store of old caffè piccolo when I took over the restaurant) Ham from Italy(I mean Ham and not shoulder which cost half and is tasteless), Spianata Calabra (which I believe in English is called Spicy Salami) is a Salami from Calabria, the mushrooms are cooked and seasoned before we place over a pizza, we use a tomato pulp from Italy (not water added) (not like the spanish tomato juice tins which I found in the dry store of old caffè Piccolo), the Mozzarella cheese is a FIOR DI LATTE from Campania Italy (fresh Milky Mozzarella (not the rubber tasteless cheese found in many pizzeria in England and unfortunatly sometimes in Italy), our pasta dough is made in house with a flour from Italy "Molino Campani" which as a good result in a crispy pizza, we use very little yeast for the dough and proove it for at least 48 hours before use, so the pizza is not as heavy as some usual pizza found in most of the places, we do not buy frozen pizza balls, who knows what chimic has gone into it, people nowdays whant to eat healty and at least go in places which professional like me care and always pay attention to detail, because at the end of the day I have your life in hand everytime I cook and in the respect of my costumer I have to give you the best, treat you at best of what I can and this cost a little extra unfortunately, we can do mistakes, yes, who cannot...give us the chance to fix them but one thing is for sure I do not take advantage of the people unknowing of the product, I serve food for what it is and me, my business partener and our team would really love that nice people like you in worcester park appreciate what we are triing to do for you in order to make you feel, try and have an experience of real italian athmosphere and joy for your palate.

Michele said...

3 parte
Often I see italian restaurant that have those huge peppermill, and ask would you like pepper, you know everytime I see it makes me laugh because it is not an Italian thing, but if you like as I do as well I will have. Often I see many costumer as soon as the food arrive, they ground salt and pepper on top before tasting it, well It could be not of your taste I do understand not everyone as the same palate, but at least taste it first so you will know better I guess as in our culture we tend to season the food.... if I would not have been in this country for quite a while I would have been surprised but as I arrived here in England quite a while ago I do understand,I go to eat in many pubs because I enjoy eating a nice sunday roast with yorkshire pudding (which I cooked in a Pub which I like to cook too), roast chicken and parsnip, carrots, sausage and mash with a nice gravy, a nice cottagge pie or shepperd's pie, or have a nice and proper English breakfast avoiding heinz tomato beans (better if proprerly cooked). Also why not a nice sticky toffe pudding, or apple crumble, just to name few, I really love authenticity when I go in restaurants, and I love to treat my guest the same way so we try at Avventura to give you authentic Italian product and food.
I hope to have a chance to see you around at our place and hope you can feel like home as we say in Italy "fai conto di essere a casa tua"
Now I have to go to sleep as in the morning I am going to the market to choose some good product for you all.
I had to write as I feel few of you are miss understanding the main point, quality and quantity do not match well together so quality cost if you do not like quality we might have choose the wrong spot to open an Italian restaurant....that is probably our biggest mistake
Michele Brogi

A Thoroughly Satisfied Customer said...

Here here Michele! We visited Saturday, really thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, food was excellent. The pizza was amazing, I promise you all, try their Quattro Stagioni you will never go back over the road....(and it was the same price as other 'Italian' restaurants for the same pizza...)

I might be one of the few who 'gets it' but I urge every one of you who reads this blog - stick your neck out next time, don't go to the well established over the road - try Avventura at least once!

Janet A said...

Can i just say "Well done" to Michele. With food prices rocketing it is very much a case of you get what you pay for, and it sounds like we finally have a proper chef in Worcester Park who cares about his ingredients. Long overdue in my opinion. Go Michele!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.... the good food guide, time out and london eating wouldn't recommend this restaurant without knowing what they are talking about and having tried it personally I have to say the quality of the food is exceptional...I would rather have an unforgettable meal there than a frozen, pre-cooked and then reheated meal in another restaurant bacause the bottom line is that is the difference with this place.
For those who are used to dining elsewhere I would like to say... firstly, you can't knock something unless you have tried it,(if you did you would want to go back for sure) and secondly if you are not used to paying for quality then perhaps it is not this type of restaurant that has the problem. I agree that in this present time we all look after our money and try to spend it wisely but all of the dishes we have tried have been better quality and cheaper than most of the other restaurants around and for sure fresher and the pizzas are the same price and some even cheaper than pizza express.. There are set menus as well and everyone we have taken there to eat have also returned due to the quality of the food. The point is that whether you are used to this style of food or not.... you shouldn't be scared of it and if you are adventurous enough to try it, you will start to understand what it is all about and appreciate good quality and value for money. We shall be returning soon Michele!

Simon said...

" we might have choose the wrong spot to open an Italian restaurant....that is probably our biggest mistake "

It pains me to say it Michele, but you're probably right.

I've popped in for coffee and a pastry and it's very nice. I've not had a chance to go for dinner yet but the menu always looks delicious and reasonable prices for the quality of food I would expect to receive.

Unfortunately, the majority of your potential customers think the Midas Touch is the height of sophistication and would rather go there for a 'posh' burger for under a tenner.

I wish you every success and promise to keep giving you my custom as much as possible. You are clearly passionate about your food and are trying to find a tricky balance between providing the food the way you want it and the way your customers want it. I sincerely hope you succeed.

Susie Cutie said...

Well done Michele. You have convinced me to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Well said Michele, I enjoyed reading your heartfelt sentiments, and after a few visits to your wonderful restaurant I can vouch for everything you are saying. What you get in Avventura is exceptional food, sourced, prepared, cooked and served by people who care, knowledgeable people who want to serve the community the very best food, seasonal food, fresh food, and be proud of the fact that they are doing it.

To those who say it is expensive, I would agree if I had been served some pre-prepared frozen rubbish that was middle of the road. What Salvatore, Michele and the rest of the team serve is wonderfully tasty home-cooked authentic Italian food.

We visited on Saturday and had a great time. The dishes are simply wonderful, the specials of the night, amongst others, were a venison ravioli, or stewed leg of venison with sautéed potatoes. I unfortunately couldn't have the latter, as others had beaten me to it, but the pasta dish I had instead more than made up for it. The pasta itself was made from italian cheese, i really wish i could remember what it was called, but it was totally delicious.

I read a previous comment about the ice-cream being expensive. It is absolutely to die for, literally the very best I have tasted. The salted caramel ice cream is unbelievable. And as someone said you might be able to get something of this quality for 4 Euros in Italy, but remember, you have to get there first!!

I mean, seriously, this is outrageously good stuff.

The way you are treated as a customer is a sheer delight, attentive, friendly staff who are quite clearly professional and enthusiastic about what they do; the front of house and behind the scenes gel into a family that just makes one feel so welcome and relaxed. Unlike most places where you can feel rushed and totally ignored by a teenager who basically knows nothing about the food or wine that he is serving you, and looks at you as if you are crazy for even enquiring!

I can eat in Pizza Express anywhere in the country and know I will get the same formulaic blandness wherever I am. Avventura is unique, its special, and for Worcester Park to just turn its nose up at it and shun it because it is something out of the ordinary is pretty shameful.

There are even jars of sauce, made with summer Italian tomatoes, stacked on the shelves, because during the winter months the guys don't want to serve watery out of season rubbish, or tinned. They care about what they serve, and their knowledge and experience of foods and the seasons means that every month of the year, fresh, tasty food is available, without resorting to any frozen or substandard ingredients.

We had a wonderful night with you guys, and we will be back for many more without any shadow of a doubt.

To all the doubters, please, give Avventura a chance to show you what it is all about.

I give you my thanks for being an absolute breath of fresh air into this all too often stagnant area.

Susie Cutie said...

I am a girl of my word and have booked a table for tonight.

Highdown said...

Spread the word Worcester Park


Wow. This place is good.

Visited for the first time on Friday and the food and service was fantastic.

We will be back (taking my Dad who will love the rolled rabbit).

Could put Worcester Park on the culinary map like Bray and Padstow!

Highly recommend to all.

Janet A said...

Took my mum for lunch there for her birthday on tuesday. Food was amazing (seriously, try the rabbit), service very professional, friendly with out being intrusive, and the chef was absolutely lovely. Will definitely be recommending to friends and family

Anonymous said...

I was there for dinner on Tuesday. There was a decent value midweek menu. Two courses for £13, from a really wide selection. It was definitely worth the money. The squid starter was lovely - served on a lemon marmalade sauce, and the rabbit as a main was evidence of some real cheffy skill. It wasn't perfect - the accompanying potatoes were a bit underdone for my liking - but it was preferable to the bog-standard Italian fare generally served. I'd recommend it, particularly the under-advertised midweek menu.

Anonymous said...

If you go to Avventura you have to have the salted caramel ice-cream, it is absolutely fantastic!!!!

Ilaria said...

Just come back from dinner at Avventura,and just finished reading the blog.I am shocked and furious at the same time.The restaurant is simply great,the food is very tasty,real and in good portions;the staff friendly and welcoming(with your children too).And being italian I can honestly say this is how I would expect an Italian restaurant to cook my food.
The fried squid with home made lemon curd is to die-for;the rabbit, when on the menu,is melt-in- the-mouth;the fish is perfectly cooked;the pizza is the best in town;the creme caramel with vanilla sauce and nutella mousse I had 2 tonight!
I am really happy to pay them to eat there.
Thank you guys.

Anonymous said...

What happened to "Susie Cutie" I was waiting for her review?

Gordos neighbour said...

Dropped by today - it appears the restaurant is no longer going to be open for lunch except on weekends (it'll open at 5pm on weekdays). Also, they'll no longer provide a play area (which used to be open until 5pm) citing 'insurance reasons'. A real pity about the play area - I'd met quite a few families who'd discovered the joys of the food and the experience during the holiday break and heard enough to think they were looking forward to frequenting the restaurant lunchtimes.

Mrs Y said...

We have just come home from having dinner at Avvenutura. The staff were welcoming. They were happy to tell us what the specials were and what the dishes were if we didn't know what they were. They were attentive without being in your face. The food choice was plentiful without being confusing. The dishes were cooked freshly and were delicious, seasoned well and would have no hesitations in recommending. Well priced meal and look forward to going back

Susie Cutie said...

Sorry, Anonymous, that I didn't give my review. I felt that as I had very little positive to say, it was better to say nothing. I will just give you the positive: For my main I had a saffron risotto with calves tail and it was sublime, well worth the 1 hour wait!! There is nothing else positive from the evening and we won't be returning. Shame.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from Susie - Thank you fo your honest review. I have also tried this restaurant, and whilst the pasta dish was very nice, it wasn't enough and certainly not for the price. Other courses were also lacking in quantity - I could eat in the Munal a few doors a away and walk away very full.

I can hear Michele say that the Munal does not have lamb from the Shey Phoksundo national park, Rice hand-picked from an organic paddy field in Dipayal and spices flown daily from Butwal - no they probably get them from a wholesaler. The fact of the matter is that Avventurra is overpriced for what they provide - Dentists get away with it because they all charge the same price - restaurants don't!

Michele said...

Dear Susie Cutie
Thank you very much for your comment, I remember you very well for the wait of the risotto , I am glad you enjoy the risotto calves (shank) , but with only the positive point there is not room for improvement unless we know what you did not like about the evening.....if you like I can teach you how to make a very good risotto, my risotto takes minimum 35 mins this is why it is not on the menu. I do not keep the risotto pre-cooked in the fridge. Our mistake has been a lack of comunication, I believe, sometimes unfortunatly when customers arrives all together it can happen that some wait a while this case was you,.. plus I remember, as I knew already that you have been waiting a while, I came to the table to apologise, other than this we will try to improve, but in the end it is very hard to make everybody happy in certain situation. Kind regards
Michele Brogi
Chef patron
Avventura restaurant

Anonymous said...

avventura dos good food but the wait is too long way too long, i would rather go to midas touch as food is realy good and its improving big time...good for them as they have done good job getting the place work.

Paul said...

I finally managed to eat at Avventura last night - what a treat. The food was superb - top quality ingredients, imaginatively combined, and beautifully presented. As I'm a bit of a wino, I find the wine list in a restaurant can often tell you a lot. When it's bland, formulaic and brand-led you know what to expect from the food. At Avventura the list is a great representation of modern Italy and the pricing is very modest compared with the restaurant norm. They have taken care here, and they clearly take care in the kitchen too.

We ate extensively! Starters, pasta course, meat course, desserts, too much wine; I felt like Henry VIII at the end. Of course we therefore had a decent bill to match, but that was our doing. If you stick to the set menu, or just choose from the pizzas as if you were across the road, then there's no need to consult the bank manager.

I think Avventura covers two markets:

(1) If you want to eat here as an alternative to Pizza Express, I really don't think it's expensive, and it's a lot better. P.E. is the middle class McDonalds, it feeds my family regularly, and it does quick in and out and nice pizza very well, but it is identikit. Avventura has character.

(2) If you want a very good meal out, then Avventura is head and shoulders above anything else in Worcester Park. It's not fine dining and white linen table cloths, but it is excellent quality, interesting and downright enjoyable.

Anyone who enjoys food and has not yet been there should make the time to visit. Personal preferences being what they are, some will prefer Munal or Midas Touch, but I think Avventura is a gem.

Anonymous said...

Went this lunchtime. We had previously been once before and it was overpriced. This is now sorted out - the portions were good and so were the price. The food (as it always has been) was fantastic. The only shame is that it wasn't busier.

Anonymous said...

went there a while ago. I want this restaurant to do well.....but fortunately having to eat out quite a lot thruogh work I'm afraid for a local Italian it wasn't up to scratch. Very expensive prices for a restaurant on Worcester Park High Street. Menu badly laid out and screaming kids in the evening. Maybe should do a special deal before 7.00 for kids or something?

I want them to succeed but something is lacking I'm afraid and I don't want to pay west end prices in Worcester Park. Maybe a visit to La Famiglia in Chelsea might give them a few ideas?

Gordo's Neighbour said...

Something smells here, particularly with the reference to La Famiglia - the chef patron (Michele) is from Tuscany and is very well respected in professional circles for his cooking. But WP is not Chelsea, as indeed you have alluded to with your comments about kids and price...

...which are somewhat misguided, I might add. There are many young families in WP and it is a fact-of-life that you may well have the misfortune to encounter misbehaving children well past their bedtime in a family-friendly restaurant in WP, even on a Saturday night. You can blame the parents, maybe even the kids, but certainly not the restaurant! Indeed it's a hallmark of the Italian nature that they welcome and love kids (as does La Famiglia, I note).

As for the price - I'd certainly like to know which restaurants you'd recommend in the West End which charges the same (or less) and dishes out quality food like Avventura does. I dine out a lot in the West End and certainly have had my fair share of local High Street Italian (restaurants).

Avventura is head and shoulders above your average local Italian in that it offers food cooked from good quality produce, done with love and care (and great skill - Michele and his team have a great pedigree including some of the finest Italian kitchens in the West End), for I'd say half of what it'd command in the West End.

Sure, it's got issues. But much of it has to do with WP High St and maybe the recession. Business for them is unpredictable - they can go from a non-stop service one (say Saturday) night to 10-20 covers the same night a week later. How do you staff for that? Have enough to cover a full sitting and you're losing money on quiet nights - have less staff and service gets patchy when it gets busy. And what about the food they order in? Their insistence on freshness and quality means a lot gets thrown away.

Last night is a good example - Friday's normally a quiet night for them, but 45 people walked in all around the same time! One of the front of house was called away on an emergency, so they were left with one waiter. And the chefs had to cook 45 covers all at the same time! Now I'd be surprised if none of the customers last night had a less than good experience.

Avventura is a WP gem - if you agree or genuinely 'want it to succeed' for any other reason, try it, support it, call ahead and reserve (you get points if you reserve through TopTable) so they can plan ahead...

Some may think it's too expensive for regular meals out and would rather go to Pizza Express / Belini's, saving Avventura for a special occasion - FFS, two of the best pizzas on the high street and a bottle of house red could be had for less than £20! And you can also get it to go!

Make your mind up said...

I totally agree with the above poster.

I've recently moved into the area and decided to have lunch at Avventura to celebrate my son's birthday. The service was great, the quality of the food was brilliant and the price was very,very reasonable. Avventura do not charge west end prices but the quality of the food provided here is far superior than many of the restaurants in the west end. This is a great local restaurant which is within walking distance if you live in the area which means you save money on petrol, parking and public transport.

I'm not surprised that there are so many vacant premises on WP high street. Seems that many people want great shops/restaurants but cheap prices. Yet the same people then seem to complain when the likes of Poundland opens up on the high street - make your mind up!!

Sfarmer76 said...

Sfarmer76 said...

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