After visiting Le Coq in Islington we fell in love with the area; it’s so busy and FULL of restaurants. We returned to try Trullo, an Italian restaurant which offers a simple and seasonal daily changing menu.
Sadly we weren’t seated in the ground floor dining room which had a great atmosphere, instead we were seated downstairs which didn’t have quite the same buzz; it felt a tad boring. We were at least seated in a booth, which had a really low ceiling. It was like being in a cave which was quite fun. I do love a good booth.
The menu read very well and there was plenty that took our fancy. I started with the bruschetta with sweetbreads, girolles and nduja (£8.50). The sweetbreads were soft and tender, however there was no caramelised exterior which made their texture a bit fatty. The mushrooms provided a lovely earthiness and the whole dish was seasoned perfectly but I missed any heat or spice from the nduja.
My gentleman companion fell in love with the papardelle with beef shin ragu (£9) and I could totally see why; it was a beefy flavour explosion. The sheets of perfectly cooked pasta covered in a rich beef ragu tasted divine.
The ravioli of pumpkin and ricotta with a sage butter (£8.50) were so light and delicate that they were gobbled up in a matter of seconds – the portion seemed a touch on the small side. Again though, a brilliant pasta dish and masterfully made.
My main of Black Hampshire pork chop with carrot, swede and baked, pickled Cox apple (£16.50) was more exciting on paper than it was in the flesh. The carrot and swede had been made into a tasteless mash and the baked apple had turned to mush leaving it void of flavour too. The pork chop however was out of this world; charred and crispy on the outside yet succulent on the inside. I just felt the dish was far too simple.
The chargrilled monkfish tail with roast butternut squash and salsa rossa (£17) was also on the simple and small side; no side dishes were available which seemed a shame and very necessary. Everything was cooked very well and the flavours blended well together but it wasn’t particularly exciting.
Puddings were tasty but nothing incredible; the upside down apple and almond cake (£6.50) tasted of the said ingredients but offered nothing unexpected. The same could be said for the caramel panacotta (£7) which was pleasantly light. The best pud we ate was in fact the roast hazelnut ice cream (£4.50) which was the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I would gladly have taken a tub home with me!
There was nothing ghastly about our meal at Trullo and we had a really enjoyable evening. I was just hoping for a few more flamboyant flourishes with each dish, instead, it felt a bit like home cooking but at restaurant prices. There’s nowt wrong with simple cooking – places like Dean Street Townhouse do it marvellously, but they’ve created a wonderful atmosphere to go with it. In that respect, Trullo fell a bit short. Lovely staff though.