\When I first moved into London and I was still trying to settle down into my new surroundings, I went through a bit of a rut with food and stuck with the familiar but unsatisfying faces of chain restaurants, which made my life pretty miserable. That all changed when I was brought to Spuntino by a fellow Londoner, which convinced me that I've been wrong about food in London all my life (and in turn, inspired the birth of this blog!).
I've mentioned before that Spuntino and Duck and Waffle rank equally as my favourite places in London, but they couldn't be more different in style. Whereas Duck and Waffle is welcomingly bright and airy, Spuntino rocks a grungier, more alternative vibe with its dim lights and inconspicuous entrance. Almost everyone I've come with has mentioned that they've walked past so many times without even noticing its presence, let alone suspected there to be such a great place there! It's pretty easy to walk right past it, with its frosted windows and its name scratched above the door barely visibly. But once you're in, you'll know you're the only one who's missed the memo, because there's almost always a queue all the way along the wall and up to the front door. Don't be discouraged, order some cocktails or wine and wait in line.
There are a few things that I always order off of the menu, whilst occasionally going for 'new' things once in a while. Here are some of the classics that I would definitely recommend: starting with eggplant chips, which are great over a drink or two. They're lightly fried until the surface is crunchy, without ruining the texture of the eggplant, so you get a nice contrast of textures. I don't love the fennel yoghurt it's served with, though, so I always just have the chips as is.
The range of slider burgers on offer are delicious, my favourites being the two at the front, Prawn Po'boy and Pulled Pork. The two at the back are Lamb with Pickled Cucumber and Beef with Bone Marrow. In any case, I can hardly choose between them, so it's great that they're small enough for you to have all four.
I also love the shoestring fries, which were taken off the menu a while ago but are back! I love my fries skinny, and these are skinnier than any fries I've ever had! One benefit is that they definitely FEEL healthier than normal fries. Don't correct me if I'm wrong.
In my view there are two 'killer' dishes on Spuntino's menu and the first is this: the Truffled Egg Toast, which is a thick slice of toast covered with gruyere cheese, with a pool of truffled egg yolk in the centre. When you cut it just right, the yolk flows down and soaks into the toast, so that every bite you take is a mind blowing mix of truffle and gruyere cheese. Make sure you eat this hot!
The second is their Macaroni and Cheese, which I couldn't describe well enough to do it justice. In any case, the combination of the crumbly topping with the bubbling creamy cheese sauce has me wanting more every time.
By now, you should be satisfyingly wined and dined, but don't stop there because Spuntino also rocks at dessert. Pictured here is the Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich, which consists of two slices of peanut butter ice cream (yum) topped with nuts and crunchy candy (double yum) sandwiching a layer of berry sauce (triple yum). I also love the Dutch Baby, which is a cross between a crepe and a pancake, served with ice cream and fruit sauce, as well as the various cheese cakes that have been on offer.
Spuntino is not just always a great meal but always great fun with a couple of friends to just sit at the bar and enjoy. The whole chilled out vibe is right up my alley, as I always feel comfortable to just turn up like a hobo or pop in just for dessert and a couple of drinks if I've had dinner elsewhere in Soho (another way I've tried to incorporate Spuntino into my routine).
Just like in my Duck and Waffle post, I take full credit for all the gushing I've done. I'm not usually this biased (and unapologetically so), but that just goes to show how much I love the place!
Price: £ £ £ out of 5
You can find the Spuntino home page here (but there isn't much to find there because they're strictly 'no telephone, no reservations' - seriously, just go).