Sunday, 4 September 2011

Spuntino - Soho, London

I wanted, expected to be blown away by Spuntino. All those rave reviews had made Spuntino one of those absolute must try places. But in so many ways I'm more sheep than shepard and had waited for the waves of reviews surround to me before I got round to marching myself down to Soho, plonking myself down on one of Spuntino's bar stools and ordering a round of Italian/American inspired small plates of food. And frankly, I was disappointed.
The complementary chilli popcorn was chewy, hard and flavourless despite the chili. And it stuck to my teeth. Not the best look to start a meal with.

Eggplant Chips - Spuntino, Soho 

Eggplant chips with fennel yogurt (£4) were pretty average. It came out piping hot, the spiced coating was crunchy and the dipping yogurt was a nice touch - all of which should add up to a good dish but it didn't. It lacked a certain 'oomph', a step further in foodie flavourings to make this really delicious.

The soft shell crab with tobasco aioli and fennel shavings (£8.50) was technically fine. The deep fried crab was hot and crunchy, the tobasco gave a nice little kick to the aioli but the fennel salad just fell in a heap of dry boredom. I wanted a tart dressing or even just a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of of salt to zing it up.


We got 2 sliders to share -  ground beef and bone marrow (£4.50) and lamb and pickle cucumber (£5). The slider buns were a little on the dry side and the fillings were fine if nothing to write home about. Absolutely ridiculous it may sound but I was telling RB as I was munching on my share of the lamb and pickled cucumber slider how moist the ground pork patty was. With a raised eyebrow RB informed me I was tucking into lamb and the cucumber was pickled. Oh.


Our last dish was, without a doubt, an absolute terrible mistake on our part. Neither RB nor I are cheese lovers yet we hands down agreed to try the truffled egg toast (£5.50). Our faces screwed up in unison as soon as the plate was set down in front of us - "WTF, is that stench?!?". We forgot that cheese + truffles = possible smell issues for us. I like to say we bravely soldiered on, cutting large pieces for ourselves, avoiding possible gagging as the egg yolk mixture spilled forth from the cheesy bread centre and popped in into out mouth for an awaited try. Oddly, despite it smelling bad (or good, depending on your love for truffled cheese scents) it tasted a bit like cardboard. The scent just didn't translate over to flavour. The cheese was bland and the whole dish desperately needed seasoning. RB and I at one point toyed with the idea of donating our dish to the group sitting next to us who were openly salivating over our carved up dish but opted instead to keep it and make the occasional pokes at it.

RB and I left disappointed and just a little bit hungry. Perhaps we made some wrong choices with what we ordered but it's seriously unlikely that either of us would be willing to go back to give it a 2nd go. Another aspect that put us off just before we left were the 2-3 members of staff with their too cool for school is totally in this season look who were standing at a corner of the bar openly staring and laughing at customers. Heck, I know bitching about customers takes place but really ... try to more discreet about it.

61 Rupert Street, London W1D 7PW

  Spuntino on Urbanspoon