There’s Italian, and then there’s Italian. Trullo is most definitely the latter.
Trullo is a discreet Italian restaurant a mere stone’s throw away from the busy Highbury and Islington junction in North London. Opened in 2010 by Tim Siadatan, a graduate from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, it has quietly captured the heart of locals and foodies alike. Being an Islington girl myself, I jumped at the opportunity to review the restaurant. If Trullo is modest outside, it is equally unassuming on the inside: a small space with a very simple decor, no fuss and a friendly welcome – feeling very much like a true local’s haunt. The food is authentic, rustic, hearty – those who believe real Italian cuisine consists of carbonaras and pizzas can think again.
The menu changes daily, focusing on seasonal and fresh produce. For antipasti, I tried the Courgette Fritti with honey, chilli and thyme dip, whilst my dining companion opted for the bruschetta with borlotti beans. We shared a primi of squid ink tagliarini with mussels and chilli, before moving on to our mains: I opted for the crespelle of grilled leeks and taleggio (after googling what on earth a crespelle actually is – a savoury crepe, apparently), whilst J ordered the roast pigeon – both of which were true revelations and nothing at all like the dishes we tend to associate with Italian food.
Although by then it was a struggle, it would have been rude not to try the desserts, true Italian classics like Panacotta and Tiramisu accompanied by a sweet dessert wine – nothing fancy, but divinely simple and simply divine. Trullo may not (yet) be one of the big names on the London restaurant scene or be in the most desirable location for non-Islingtonians, but my guess is they rather like it that way. The tiny place is packed every single day, so much so that they’ve now renovated the basement space to Trullo Downstairs which is open Thursday to Saturday and serves the same food in tapas-style and cocktails.
As a local girl, it’s always great to discover new places in the area. I must admit I’d probably walked past Trullo a million times without giving it too much notice, but now I know what’s behind those doors, I’ll be back for more. Make
300 – 302 St Paul’s Road
London N1 2LH
020 7226 2733