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PUBLISHED: 17:28 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

Trullo: sensational food

Trullo: sensational food

EVERY now and then a new restaurant opens that gets everyone talking. Sometimes it's because of the people behind it, sometimes it's the location, and sometimes it's simply because the food is so sensational. In the case of Trullo, it's all of the abov

EVERY now and then a new restaurant opens that gets everyone talking. Sometimes it's because of the people behind it, sometimes it's the location, and sometimes it's simply because the food is so sensational.

In the case of Trullo, it's all of the above.

This charming rustic Italian on the former site of Islington favourite, the Gill Wing Café, is the brainchild of two foodies with impressive restaurant CVs - and celebrity family connections to boot.

Head chef Tim Siadatan is brother of Yasmina, the most recent winner of Alan Sugar's The Apprentice, and was himself star of Jamie Oliver's first-ever batch of apprentices at Fifteen. He has since gone on to work at both St John and Moro.

His partner is Jordan Frieda, who is son of hair guru John Frieda, and was formerly front of house at The River Café.

They make a formidable team, but it is the combination of fantastically cooked earthy Italian food and prices lower than your average gastropub which has had the critics drooling and brought Islington's chattering classes out of their bespoke Canonbury dining rooms in their droves.

In fact, with the white walls, dark wooden tables, open kitchen and huge windows, it's almost as if Siadatan and Frieda are reclaiming the gastropub style and showing the world exactly how things should be done.

The wine list may be extensive, but the menu is short, unfussy and ever-changing.

Top quality ingredients are key, and a summer girolle and chorizo salad was delightfully simple with a dressing to die for. The stracci with pesto and green beans was a great option for my more ravenous dining partner.

Onto the mains and Siadatan's impressive pedigree really shines through.

A charcoal grilled Dorset lamb rump with marinated peppers and aubergine arrived almost pink but was perfectly tender and flavoursome.

A perfectly seasoned slip sole with borlatti beans and summer herbs also delighted the soul, once you had battled through the bones.

A cheeseboard and a chocolate sorbet provided a suitably flamboyant finish to a fantastic meal.

At present the clientele is very middle class - witness a crowd of 50-somethings discussing pictures of their friends' latest lover which had gone up on Facebook - but Trullo is far from snobby.

The staff are ultra-helpful, the food is inexpensive and the venue has the feel of an earthy neighbourhood restaurant, albeit rather a stylish one.

It's already packed out most nights, but with the basement soon opening up as a bar area serving plates of antipasti alongside cocktails and with perhaps even a bit of live music thrown in, things are only going to get better. - ROB BLEANEY

Mains: from £13

Wines: from £15

Children welcome: Yes

Disabled access: No


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