Yesterday was the first night in a new series of events - "date night." My friends and I have decided to take it in turns to organise one evening a month. It can be a restaurant, a theatre trip or any other weird and wonderful idea that comes to mind. The rules: (1) the evening has to be well thought out; a simple Google search will not do and (2) the organiser pays the bill.
First up, my choice - Spuntino. An upscale American diner with hints of Italian and food designed for sharing. The restaurant is dimly lit with exposed walls and low hanging light bulbs. It is quintessentially cool. Probably a bit too cool for us regular folk but we loved the atmosphere all the same.
Spuntino is centred around a large bar. The food is served and eaten at the bar and there are further high tables at the end of the restaurant.
Like many other places in Soho, Spuntino does not take reservations. We arrived at 6pm and the queue was minimal - excellent. However, one of our party was yet to arrive so we nipped over the road for a quick drink. By the time we returned to the restaurant, there was a long line of hungry diners and we ended up queuing for an hour. It sounds pretty ridiculous but for once, I didn't mind the wait. You can have drinks and nibbles while you queue so we went for the Candied Bacon and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken...
The Candied Bacon was very smoky and sweet. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken was the best KFC you've ever had. Very oily but piping hot and super soft.
As our wait was longer than anticipated, the waitress very kindly brought over some Eggplant Chips with Fennel Yoghurt - on the house. So far so good.
The seating comprises 27 bar stools. I am 5ft 1" which means I have to mentally prepare myself every time I see a bar stool. Once I'd hoisted myself up we were presented with a mug of popcorn with chilli salt and then we got straight to ordering:
The speciality Spuntino Sliders - Pulled Pork and Pickled Apple, Chicken with Honey Mustard and Prawn Po' Boy:
Can I please note that the sliders were five quid a pop! Quite a generous portion and we cut them up and shared them between us. We noticed that lots of other diners were doing the same. To sum them up in three words, messy sloppy deliciousness.
Beef Chilli Dog and Pickled Fennel...
Hands down the best chilli ever. In our opinion, there was no need for the frankfurter or the bread. Give me a whole plate of that chilli and I'm sorted. It was spicy, tomato-ey and everything chilli should be.
Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pizzetta...
Another excellent dish. Stone baked, thin, crispy...and I used it to scoop up all that chilli :)
My friends focused on the "stupid coolness" of the place. It's the type of place that you should really hate - but I loved it. Some examples of stupid coolness:
- no signage whatsoever, so you walk up and down Rupert Street demonstrating how uncool you are;
- no telephone number;
- unisex toilets;
- very random sweet machines; and
- wine served in high-ball glasses (grr..)
We absolutely loved the food and after what seems like a long while, I'm very happy to give out another 5 forks! The only advice to future diners would be to arrive as early as possible to avoid that queue!