An Italian word, Spuntino [a snack, small meal], is the name of the third restaurant to open in the Russel Norman empire. Others being Polpo, Polpetto and daPolpo. The name is fitting to the restaurant, as the menu is precise, with a clear point of sharing small plates of food. The diner/bar set up is true to its origins, as Italians don't go for a quick drink, they go for a quick pizza, and in Spuntino you sit at the bar only (yes only 20-something seats).
The design is rugged in a 'rough part of old town' kinda way, yet is 'cool' in every sense of the word: exposed brick and chipping tile, rusty looking, vintage, wrought iron features, yet a smooth steel finish on the bar and sophisticated woodwork as a polish. In short, the space itself makes you want to be there, it makes you want to come back, and it makes you want to have a beer!
|Egg plant chips £4, and shoestring fries £3|
I do wish, however, that I had taken a seperate photo of the eggplant chips, because they were the highlight of the day. Crispy coating of sesame and fennel, with a soft eggplant middle were impeccable. Truly a dream.
|Truffled egg toast £5.50|
|Lamb and Pickle slider £5|
|Soft shell crab £9.50|
Overall I can see the attraction of Spuntino, with no telephone number and a no reservation policy, funky decor and only 26 seats available, no wonder there is always a line to get in. But what I can't understand is the rave about the food. Ok, it's different to any other place, in that it is simple almost gourmet "hang over" food, but given the opportunity for another innovative hang out with a creative kitchen to compete, and it may not stand out from the crowd. This time I may stick to its sister restaurants, Polpo and daPolpo.
Tweet Russel Norman now has a book! a must have i think :)