APPEARANCES are often deceiving and nowhere is that more true than at Limoncello.

From the outside the Abingdon Italian appears a little dated, its painted green sign lacking the slick finish you see on most modern restaurants.

In the looks department it really has nothing on the Ask Italian down the road or Pizza Express a few minutes away.

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But what the Ock Street Italian has got going for it is authenticity, tasty food and whole lot of charm.

Run by Italian-born Salvatore Cacace, the interior is filled with murals looking out over fictional blue seas and lemon groves surrounding wooden tables with perfectly fanned yellow napkins.

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The scenes were painted by the owner's brother Ottavio and are inspired by the pair’s birthplace on the island of Capri in southern Italy off the coast from Naples.

Combined with the olives and bread on the table and suitably-Italian music playing on arrival, it reminded me of holidays abroad as a child and there was the somewhat disconcerting feeling of being caught in a time warp.

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Scanning the menu it was surprising then to find not a single pizza in sight (these are reserved for the restaurant's lunch menu), instead there is an entire section devoted to veal and a pleasing amount of sea food.

With an eye on both dessert and a big main I chose a simple tomato, mozzarella and basil salad (£7.75) to start. While it is a difficult dish to get wrong, it arrived quickly and was prettily presented. The waiter even came with a giant pepper grinder to add seasoning.

For the main I had a haddock fillet topped with olives and capers in a tomato and basil sauce (£18.95).

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It comes with the option for salad or vegetables and they are needed to cut through the rich sauce.

Salty from the capers it had just enough heat from spice to balance it out and leave your lips tingling without taking away from the other flavours.

Even with just a salad the generous serving of haddock, which was perfectly cooked, was a filling dish

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Still, there is always room for dessert (words I live by) and so the waiter let me know what was available from an ever-changing array of homemade desserts.

Hearing the magic words 'panna cotta' I opted for that (£4.95) and was not disappointed.

It had the obligatory wobble but was also creamy and full of the flavour of vanilla, a raspberry sauce at the side a perfect addition to cut through the richness.