As I was feeling brave, I decided to venture East into Dalston to Rotorino, a restaurant by head chef Stevie Parle (who also owns The Dock Kitchen) and Jonathan Downey (the chap behind Milk and Honey and partner of Street Feast).
We were seated at the end of the bar (which is saved for walk-ins) which provided a pleasant view of the packed and ever so beautiful restaurant. The only problem though was the lone barman, who struggled to make drinks and serve those eating; even though we were in spitting distance it was difficult to get his attention.
Our two pastas came out super quick. The sausage gnochetti sardi (£8) didn’t look particularly appetising, “it looks like maggots” said my gentleman companion. The flavour was good but the crumbled sausage was insanely dry. Girolle gnudi (£8.50) was better; it featured little pasta balls filled with ricotta in a buttery sauce but the whole thing could have been a lot warmer.
For main, the pork and veal meatballs (£9.50) came sitting in a beautiful tomato sauce but the balls themselves didn’t hold together once cut open and they were a touch bland.
Suffolk lamb chops (£12.50) had a really odd texture; that of raw lamb (yet they were hot) which made them incredibly chewy. The fat was nowhere near crispy enough either – crispy lamb fat is the best thing in the world.
Fried potatoes with rosemary and garlic (£4) lacked their promised flavouring. You want fried potatoes to be crispy little buggars with so much garlic that you can breathe fire. These simply tasted of floury new potatoes that had been roasted for a few minutes; perhaps they were just too big.
Rotorino was recently featured in the ‘Bib Gourmand Recommends’ section of the Michelin Guide – which rather surprised me to be honest. Maybe the service would have been more successful if we were seated at a table but even then, the food wasn’t really up to much.