Spuntino (Soho)

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I know this is a bold statement but this is some of the best food I’ve eaten in a long time.

I met a friend for supper last week and when we were discussing where to go he suggested Spuntino. I hadn’t been before but have been to Polpo and Mishkin’s (one of my fave places) and Spuntino is owned by the same people so I figured it couldn’t really go wrong. I tried to have a look on their website at the menu and the sort of things they did, but oh no – the website has their address and that’s it. Pretty elusive and trendy… Anyway I was still looking forward to it as had heard plenty of good things about it, and I was not disappointed.

My friend had said that if you don’t know where it is then you won’t find it and he was right, it’s between a froyo shop and a newsagents (I think) and opposite a sex shop, normally I would’ve just walked straight past had I not been looking for it. They don’t take reservations so you just have to wait, but we got there at about 8.45 and the queue was only 30 minutes which isn’t bad. Also you can order drinks while you wait so the whole waiting thing goes my pretty quickly. The cocktails were good although pretty strong so watch out for that! The whole restaurant is just seats around the bar so when it was our turn we hopped onto two bar stools and had a pretty good spot where we could spy on the rest of the restaurant. (I must once again apologise for the photo quality, my camera and laptop still aren’t getting on so I had to use my phone with the help of my trusty lighting assistant shining his torch!)

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Now…the food. Similarly to Polpo, the emphasis is very much on lots of different plates, which works perfectly for me as I like to try everything! There were a few firm favourites which my friend said we had to try but between us we chose a pretty good selection and even after we’d eaten it all we were still pretty adamant that we’d sampled the best things on the menu.

First up came the aubergine fritter/chips (I can’t remember what they’re called exactly but there’s nothing else like it on the menu). Basically strips of aubergine deep fried, topped with fennel and then served with a yoghurt dip. Now I love aubergine but this took my love for it to a whole new level.

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Then the buttermilk chicken. I’ve recently been to Canteen with some of my friends – my friend Rahul blogged about it here (http://www.champagneandchutney.com/canteen-waterloo/), and hadn’t tried buttermilk chicken before then. The one at Canteen was a bit rubbish but determined not to let it ruin my opinion of it I suggested we get it. I think I can safely say it was an excellent decision. It was delicious.

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Then came the sliders…we went for two different ones – pulled pork and also prawn. They were both pretty great but I think the prawn slightly won.

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Then was the cheese on toast with egg and truffle oil. This is no ordinary cheese on toast! I wasn’t really keen on eggs that day because the boys at work had been eating raw eggs (don’t ask!) but I’m very glad we ordered it. The bread was smothered in cheese and then a little square was cut out the middle which housed the dippy egg yolk. Very messy but very tasty.

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Then for the piece de resistance, the mac and cheese. I’d been warned it was pretty dam tasty but nothing prepared me for the sheer size of it. I am a pretty die hard fan of mac and cheese but we just couldn’t finish it. It was so good though.

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Just look at that crispy topping and gooey cheese. Literally heaven in a pan!

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We polished off almost everything leaving just some of the mac and cheese left (I know this sounds like a crime but we had eaten a LOT of food). The pudding menu looked pretty good but we had no space left so we finished off our wine then headed off. We were trying to decide which were our favourite dishes but it was so tough. I think we both agreed the aubergine fritters were a real highlight as was the mac and cheese. I would go back here everyday if it wouldn’t block my arteries. The staff were very friendly and suggested a wine to go with the food. He suggested something ‘light’ due to the sheer volume of food we’d ordered!

Here’s a link to their website which has the address on (http://spuntino.co.uk). You can’t book but I promise you, even if you had to queue for 2 hours (hopefully you won’t have to) that it is well worth it. It’s also not too pricey with dishes ranging from £3-7, and I think the big things like the Mac and cheese are a little bit more. The total bill for two cocktails, a bottle of wine and enough food to feed an army was about £80. I really cannot recommend Spuntino enough and it is well worth a trip.

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