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Spuntino, Spun(k)-tastic!?

Situated next to many popular bar haunts, junkie kebab shops, a Snog and just opposite a major gay sexshop, with dingy peep shows just around its corner, Spunktino – sorry, Spuntino, meaning snacks in Italian – an offering from the always talked about and mightily successful team behind Polpo and Polpetto headed by Russell Norman, seemed an odd one out in this neighbourhood. This would never, in a million years, hinder Spuntino’s success. By the time this American small-plate bar served their first dish to the public, Spuntino, I believe, must have been well hyped all over London. The weekend tweets and the pre-weekend peeps showed how excited the privileged friends had been. Sadly, I was not one of them.

So, there I was at Spuntino at 11am on the dot, waiting to enter. Funny enough, there were a few Spuntino punters. A moment of reluctance ensued. Who would break the ice? No one seemed to want to be the first to get in.

15 min passed and there was an old man, our saviour! He walked in and yes we all followed him.

Russell Norman in the corner, noted!

Design-wise, Spuntino was quite cool, mismatching the dilapidated tiled walls and arches with a metallic American diners style bar. The menu spoke breakfast and comfort snacks to munch on after a weary day out in a seedy haunt, perhaps? There were eggs and soldiers, salt beef and truffles. But, first thing first, I was given this cup of popcorn to start. Salted ones…

Dishes were divided into sections: Spuntini (small plates), Sliders, Salad, Plates and Sides. And there my picks went: (1) Brick Lane Salt Beef, Pickle and Colman’s Mustard (2) Eggplant Chips with Fennel Yoghurt (3) Duck Ham Pecorino Mint and (4) Mac & Cheese.

My dark pink salt beef was tender and meaty. Great quality and landed in a proper bun. Tangy pickle and an eager kick from the mustard was the best way to start my day. The aubergine chips, coated with sesame seeds, were crisp perfect and slightly spongy in the middle. There was no hint of bitterness associated with aubergines. The spiced cooling yoghurt was a good accompaniment. The salad was good. Lambs lettuce with Pecorino and baby leeks. It paved way to my grand finale of Macaroni & Cheese.

And look at that!!!!!!

The best Mac & Cheese I came across in years. The mac was soaked overnight in milk, infused with leeks and three kinds of cheese – mozzarella, fontina, parmesan. It was creamy, stringy, soft, everything a perfect Mac & Cheese should be and beyond!

I was stuffed but I couldn’t stop myself from getting one more dish of Spicy Sausage, Lentils and Radicchio. Mightily huge sausage and thank god it was not Chorizo! Recently, Chorizo had become a boring thing to me. The lentils were well infused with chilli, perfectly cooked, rich and bold. It was all swept up in a matter of minutes.

And the actual finale: Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Grappa Prunes. Crusty base. Velvety and mildly sweetened cheese went down with the boozy syrupy prunes.

The last bite was mocking me. I seriously couldn’t eat more >_< Wish my other bib were here to finish it off xx

NOT!!

I ate it up. I would need to run up and down the steps to burn all this off…

On reflection, I dare say Spuntino would surpass Polpo and Polpetto in regard to success. This was comfort food, reasonably priced and in a good sized portion. Many would find it hard to resist. I, for one, would be very happy to queue for a seat.

And to answer my question?

Guess what, this was Spunk-tastic!

Enough said,

My head rating says, “8 out of 10″.

My heart rating says, “9 out of 10″.

SPUNTINO

61 Rupert Street
London
W1D 7PJ

www.spuntino.co.uk

Spuntino on Urbanspoon

16 Comments

  1. Ibzo

    Hey there. Nice review! You were real quick. Incidentally, you were sitting next to us, I believe – we can in when you were finishing up.

    Have to agree on the mac and cheese, it really is fantastic. I think I may prefer the effort at Goodman, but the Spuntino version is killer.

    • Ha, we were brushing shoulders. I think I might be able to recognise you next time :)

      I seriously can’t believe I finished the Mac&Cheese myself now, as said, running up and down the stairs to kill my guilt!

  2. Damn, the more I hear/read, the more I want to go. It sounds like the 11am start is going to be the best way to experience this little gem. I have a feeling it’s going to do a Koya and get packed out the rest of the day…

  3. @Jing

    You must nudge them for popcorn next time. I hope to go back again during the not so busy hours for more Mac and Cheese!!

    @Grubworm

    It might get as riduculously busy as Koya – was queuing for the latter the other day and couldn’t believe how empty it was when the place was first opened!! – but Spuntino is opened all day so as Jing says if you head there before the crowd hits, it’s not too hard to get seated. Also people do not seem to linger very long and despite the queue you’ll get seats very soon :)

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