Though many in the restaurant industry praise ‘location, location, location’ above much else, there are a surplus of exceptions to the rule across Greater London. My latest find is Highbury and Islington’s Trullo. Sprawled over their ground floor and basement, Trullo’s intimate and low-lit (horrible for taking food photos, fantastic for setting the mood) space is home to a menu of Italian delights that change by the day.
Though the diminutive size of the restaurant means that tables are on a 2-3 hour schedule (dependant on the size of your party), my partner and I enjoyed a well-paced and unintrusively serviced 3-course meal that started with a puntarelle, clementine, pomegranate and salted ricotta salad (£8) and ravioli of calves’ brain and cime di rapa with sage butter (£8). While these two dishes are on entirely different ends of the spectrum, both had my tongue trampolining around my mouth. Nothing quite beats fresh ingredients and fresh creativity.
Fork in hand, I set into my main of line-caught sea bass with Castelluccio lentils, and salsa rossa (£17.5) which – while delightful – was completely overshadowed by my date’s meritorious plate of Hereford beef onglet with braised celeriac, porcini, and watercress (£16). That, my foodie friends, is one of London’s best dishes; expertly-crafted, tender, and salubriously flavorful.
Testing Trullo via my general dislike of pannacotta (logic: if I like your version, you are perfect), I ordered their vanilla and caramel pannacotta (£6.50) which I found far too rich and gelatinous for my personal taste. Thankfully, my sweet tooth stole a few nibbles of their Amalfi lemon tart (£7), which had a cutting Limoncello-esque bite and sweetness that melted down my throat.
Mi piace Trullo.
Having an incurable case of wanderlust, I also have a somewhat disillusioned view of poor travel experiences. Deadly Cambodian tuk tuk racing, the black slopes of Switzerland; throw ’em at me, it’s part of the adventure! I can take almost anything…until it comes to food. Plane food, to be precise. From the genetically modified crackers to the mutant proteins, plane food is one of those things that – unless you’re in first class – we tend to simply grin and bare.
Recently, I was invited to preview the opening of Heathrow’s brand new concept eating and relaxation area in Terminal 5; their answer to the aforementioned food woes. The hub airport have created a pop-up park designed to give passengers a relaxing space to de-stress in and ‘picnic’, in effect. Many of Heathrow’s eateries have launched pre-flight menus developed for al fresco dining in recognition of the positive effect food and drink can have on our relaxation and wellbeing.
The menus, in fact, have been developed to include picnics you can have packaged to stay fresh and take onto the plane with you. Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, pictured here, has created a three-course ‘takeaway’ menu that offers a variety of choices including salmon salads, cheesecakes, and roasted Hereford beef. In fact, with well-being in mind, Gordon Ramsay Plane Food have created a delicious ‘Healthy Heights Picnic’ (£14.95) packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and expertly crafted whole foods to keep you full and fresh during your travels:
Beetroot, carrot and chicory with pomegranate dressing
Mango, avocado and smoked chicken salad
Fromage frais yoghurt and plum ripple with toasted home-made granola
Not forgetting the avocado and crab Maki rolls from Itsu or Caviar House‘s fish tartar canapés made from Norwegian salmon (of which I could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), Heathrow have successfully reminded us that our holiday always starts at the airport. There is a reason why this savvy airport is continuously awarded the ‘World’s Best Airport Food & Beverage’.