On countless occasions, I have ventured past The Lighterman but never been in. During the warmer months, you see people sitting on the terrace until late into the evening sipping on a frosé and enjoying some food alongside it. It was about time I paid a visit and so one cold November evening I made my way over with very high hopes. The atmosphere inside is fantastic, you immediately feel at home and the dim lighting makes it feel so cosy when it’s so cold outside.
To my disappointment, said frosé was only available in the summer, as were plenty of other cocktails, yet they were still on the menu. I settled for an elderflower Collins made up of gin, soda, elderflower, a perfectly sliced ribbon of cucumber and topped with a dehydrated orange slice. It tasted just fine, good start to the evening then.
We skipped starters and went straight onto mains. Now the prospect of burrata ravioli was so exciting that 4 out of the 6 in our group ordered it. I was expecting al dente parcels filled with creamy burrata and topped with some fresh tomatoes, simple perfection. You can imagine being in the Italian hills and eating this homemade delight. What I got was ravioli filled with a hard and smoky cheese, not like any burrata I had ever tried before. The waiter confirmed that this was indeed the correct dish and maintained that this was burrata. In my opinion the best parts of this dish were the tomatoes and pine nuts that sat on top.
Thankfully the rest of the meal was much better. The organic spelt flour, tomato and mozzarella flatbread was actually really tasty, perhaps time for The Lighterman to venture into pizzas? Thin and crisp but not burnt, perfectly seasoned sauce and actual mozzarella.
This is one of the first times I have been reluctant to see the dessert menu. The ravioli had left a bad taste, both literally and figuratively. However, it would be rude to not even look, so I took a peek and what do you know, 8/9 minutes later there is a lemon cheesecake sitting on the table in front of me. I am so glad I ordered it because it was beautiful. A tangy lemon filling sitting on a crisp biscuit base and topped with a big gooey marshmallow. Each and every bite was pure joy and at least in that moment, all bad memories of that ravioli were washed away. It could very well be one of my favourite desserts in London right now, it really was that good.
Would I go back to The Lighterman? Perhaps in the summer so that I could be one of those people laughing on the terrace with a glass of wine in one hand and a dessert in the other. I would not go back to sit and have a proper meal unfortunately. For me, it just did not meet the mark.