Tag Archives: Italian restaurant

Counter Termini – the best pizza in Kennington and beyond

Sadly Counter Termini and Counter both closed down shortly after the opening of Termini.

There’s a bit of a dearth of Italian restaurants in Kennington at the moment. First of all Sirena’s shut down, apparently because the office it was based in wanted something healthier and more modern. Then Amici closed for an extended refurbishment that doesn’t seem to be progressing. Even Pizza Express was briefly closed due to flooding. Well, there’s a new restaurant in town and to say it’s the best Italian in the area really doesn’t do it justice – Counter Termini serve some of the best pizza we’ve had.

Counter Termini interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

The premises used to be Back Counter, on the other side of the railway arch from Counter itself. The interior hasn’t changed much, except for the introduction of a wood-fired pizza oven.

Counter Termini pizza oven - kenningtonrunoff.com

As well as pizza, they serve antipasti, salads and drinks every day from 11.30am to late. We went along to one of their ‘sneak preview’ nights. They’re now in ‘soft launch’ mode, and they’re offering 2-4-1 on all pizzas until June 30th (except when there’s an ICC match at the Oval). If you book, quote ‘Friends & Family’.

This is the Verdura pizza with cherry tomato, aubergine, artichokes, yellow courgette, ricotta, aged balsamic – fresh, flavoursome, and so good we started eating it before taking the photo. Normally it costs £9:

Pizza Verdura with cherry tomato, aubergine, artichokes, yellow courgette, ricotta, aged balsamic at Counter Termini - kenningtonrunoff.com

Equally great was the Tonno pizza with tomato, tuna, red onions, capers, oregano (you can probably guess why part of it isn’t in the photo – yum yum). Normally £11:

Pizza Tonno with tomato, tuna, red onions, capers, oregano at Counter Termini - kenningtonrunoff.com

They’re also rightly proud of Mahrez’ Greek Salad:

Mahrez's Greek salad at Counter Termini - kenningtonrunoff.com

They do takeaway, and they’re about to launch delivery services via Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Counter Termini is a great addition to West Kennington and indeed to London.

Address: Arch 50, South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SR

T – 020 3693 9600

Sirena’s Italian restaurant

it seems Sirena’s closed in August 2016 – see comments below.

If you’re going back to work tomorrow and you need cheering up then get yourself down to Sirena’s for lunch. Sirena’s is an old-fashioned mom and pop Italian restaurant that has been operating since 1991 in the basement of Southbank House, an office building on Black Prince Road, yards from the Thames.

Southbank House entrance - kenningtonrunoff.com

Here’s the rather unpromising entrance:

Sirena's door - kenningtonrunoff.com

But once you get downstairs the interior and the friendly welcome of the staff will bring a smile to your face.

Sirena's interior - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s always busy at lunchtimes – they have a real devoted following, mostly made up of workers from nearby offices. You might want to book but you can’t do this online – phone them on 020 7587 0683. Their website is worth a look though – it would have looked out of date in 1991.

The food is typical, homely Italian fare with an emphasis on dishes from the South, where the founders Walter, Silvano and Carlo are from. They do a mean garlic bread pizza to start:

Garlic pizza bread, Sirena's - kenningtonrunoff.com

This is a special of tortellini with spinach, ricotta and courgettes. They make cold versions of the specials and bring these out on plates to show you what they look like.

Sirena's tortellini with spinach, ricotta and courgette - kenningtonrunoff.com

And for dessert, they have a trolley, like in the olden days!

Sweets from the trolley, Sirena's - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s taken us ages to get along there as they’re only open weekday daytimes (they serve full English breakfast from 8am as well as lunch), presumably because they’re in the basement of an office building. The food is decent but it’s the atmosphere that really makes it worth a visit, as this Guardian review explains. We forgot to ask for a cappuccino – does anyone know what happens when you do?