Alright I’m a little behind the times about eating and blogging about Spuntino. It’s hard given that I’ve spent most of my year working in another country for a different client. Fortunately I managed to agree to catch up with my sister for an early dinner (just before 6pm) on a Sunday. It’s a good thing too with the queue for seats starting almost as soon as we sat down.
Saying that there’s not much space is a bit of an understatement. It’s pretty much just a U-shaped countertop serving probably about twenty people. With the young hipsters behind the bar mixing cocktails and various things to drink it’s quite all up for show.
The waiting area behind the “dining area”.
As soon as we sat down, they served us some popcorn with chilli oil. You can see them pop the corn with a proper cinema popcorn maker although it really felt a bit too greasy for me. Didn’t really taste the spice either.
The idea behind this New York inspired dining eating is small plates for sharing. It works in a whole lot of ways. You can eat progressively, as much as you like or as little as you like without feeling like you’re constrained to a normal two or three course meal, though you can do that as well. My recommendation to you is to do make progressive orders as the space on the countertop doesn’t really let you stack that many plates. Now on to the food that we ordered.
Although the both of us aren’t particularly fond of olives, I’d read good reviews of their stuffed olives (£4). Imagine a mini version of scotch egg except that instead of an egg, they use an olive and the stuffing is an anchovy mix. I can’t really say that worked for us and I found myself eating them all myself. Terribly salty (olives + anchovies) and honestly a little bit greasy. But hey, that could work for you if you’ve been waiting in line and drinking for a little bit already.
A huge winner and something I don’t think that you can indulge in everyday was the truffled egg toast (£5.50). What arrived was a huge piece of bread, with melted cheese and aromatic melted cheese enriched (like it needed any more!) with a puddle of egg yolk on top just to add that extra bit of egginess. It was good to split this between two people as I can imagine as a dish for yourself might be a bit much.
We ordered a couple of the “sliders” that are basically an American name for almost bite sized burgers. I say almost because these were pretty big and you would hope so for the prices. We tried the ground beef and bone marrow (£4.50) and the lamb and picked cucumber (£5). Both tasty, moist and served on a nice tasty bun that wasn’t too dry.
The next few dishes almost arrived at the same time meaning we struggled for counter top space – swapping drinks for meals and lightly arranging dishes so they maximised the tiny counter top that we had. We split the next dish, the zucchini, chill and mint pizzeta (£6.50) in half. Thin base, perfectly balanced spicy, cool and fresh vegetables made this dish a big winner in my eyes. Probably one of the better valued dishes as well.
Like we didn’t have enough stodge in our meal, my sister wanted to try the famous mac and cheese (£8) that we probably should have split with our neighbours that there was so much and so rich. Whilst good, I think we were craving the small bigs of truffle shavings of truffle oil that has made this dish an even bigger winner for me in other restaurants.
Pretty much full after this huge amount of food, I opted out for dessert, instead just trying a bit of the peanut butter and jelly “sandwich” (£6.50) dessert that my sister ordered. It’s a cleverly constructed dish with the “bread” made out of slabs of peanut butter ice cream, filled with jam and sprinklings of crunchy, sweet peanut brittle providing the perfect amount of crunch to the dish. Had I not eaten so much, I probably would have enjoyed this dessert although my only criticism is that it was far too sweet for my taste and I barely even touched the jam with the small amount of ice cream I had.
I can see why this place gets great reviews. I think the bill was reasonable considering the amount of food we ordered. The price would obviously go up as soon as you hit the alcoholic drinks, and if you’re interested in some of the interesting bourbon based whiskey cocktails, there were definitely a few interesting ones to go for. Service was cordial, prompt and much deserved of their 12.5% service I think. Be warned that it’s worth going early if you don’t want to wait, but I guess half the fun could be indulging in the tiny crowded space imagining that you’ve been transported to some part of New York.
Found at: 61 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 7PW (it’s not very well signed and we walked right by it but maybe look out for the large group of people that may be queuing.