Bar Roma has been trading for 31 years, so can be rightly be thought of as a pillar of the community. It’s a place I’ve wandered past, many a time, but never quite managed to cross the threshold. Tonight was the night, though.
The first impression was that the place was incredibly bright. The photos testify, as on this evening visit there wasn’t a flash required, on any of them.
The service was very prompt, too, and I was soon contemplating their set and full a la carte menus. The former offered two courses for £16.95, and given that it promised a melanzane starter, I was pleased to go with that. I added a main course of their siciliana pizza, after hearing that their involtini was finished for the day.
I wasn’t entirely sure what a melanzane caprese would entail, but it was essentially a caprese salad with an additional layer of breaded aubergine. I admired the simplicity of the dish, but I’m not sure it worked, entirely. It relied too heavily on the source ingredients, a not unreasonable precept, but they didn’t quite sing as they could have.
The main course pizza was a little more satisfying. It was essentially an MJ friendly marinara, with some additional elements, like chunks of goat’s cheese, well-caramelized onions, sweet softened peppers, then japapenos and olives, heaped on top.
The pizza proved to be very decent fare, with good piquancy, a tasty red sauce, and crisp base crunch. It had some nicely fragrant herbiness going on, too, so I was pleased with it.
Overall, I felt that Bar Roma was a smooth operation. Their approach was well rehearsed, slickly enacted, and crowd pleasing. I found their greeter’s suggestion that happy customers should transfer their parting smiles and thank yous into kind words on Trip Advisor, equal parts enterprising and ghastly. Their appreciation that “diner power” has a considerable impact is sound, but I’m not sure such brazen tactics are quite the way to go.
Blythe scores Bar Roma
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13.5/20
I ate: melanzane caprese; pizza siciliana
I drank: chianti; espresso
I wore: Champagne tie
Total bill: £23.50