Originally opened as a deli boasting a veritable Aladdin’s cave of Italian treats in 1991, Valentina’s East Sheen restaurant was added in 2008 at the back of the shop.

Strolling past the deli’s hanging prosciutto, coppa and pancetta, and mozzarellas and pecorinos certainly served to whet the appetite for all things Italian.

The menu boasts timeless Italian dishes, with plenty of pasta, fish and pizza, and the wine list is impressive.

We tried the gamberoni as an antipasti, tiger prawns cooked in a light cherry tomato sauce. The prawns were fresh and juicy, their light and salty flavour well complimented by the sweet tang of the cherry tomato sauce.

Your Local Guardian:

For main I opted for the casarecce, pasta cooked with Tuscan sausage and baby spinach with mascarpone cheese, which was delicious. I am normally quite cautious about Tuscan sausage, as the fennel can often overpower the other flavours, but there was nothing to worry about with this dish.

The pasta was al dente, the mascarpone subtle and the flavours nicely balanced.

Your Local Guardian:

The dessert menu is typical Italian fare, gelatos, tiramisu, sorbetto and panna cotta. I decided to go with an enormous bowl with three scoops of gelato, which was a lovely end to an excellent evening.