Living in a city like London you find yourself wanting to try ‘the latest thing’. Buying London style guide books, stalking Time Out and London Pop-ups and subscribing to Urban Junkies and I Know This Great Little Place have turned into a full-time addiction.
Part of the Polpo/Polpetto family, Spuntino is one of those places that artsy folk name their secret haunt; so when myself and a friend were wondering around Soho (my fellow foodie saw it and screamed) there seemed no better time to check it out.
A hybrid of a diner and 1920s saloon, Spuntino’s beautifully simple, reclamation-chic is it’s USP. The main seating area is the bar, which is circled with fixed wooden bar stools and dangling lights. Decoration is minimal; a well-used wine rack and popcorn machine (the standard bar snack) are the only adornment to the exposed mosaic wall.
For 2pm on a Saturday it was quiet, with passers-by nipping in, as we did, for a quick bite. It’s side by side eating but not in a Wagamama’s lets-shove-’em-in way.
The food is North American with spots of Italian; the menu is quirky but delivers with quality ingredients. We went for a panazella salad (a tomato traffic light salad with oil-soaked hunks of foccacia huddled around fresh basil), buttermilk chicken wings, shoestring fries (dispel any images of the plastic school dinner variety) and a pulled pork and chunky spiced apple chutney slider.
Portions aren’t large but but we shared everything and were quite full by the end. Bar staff were relaxed and helpful; obligingly answering our million questions about the prohibtion-style cocktail list and making us tricky customers something off-the-menu.
If you’re after an hour’s break from Soho madness, Spuntino is it.