Restaurant review: Su Sazzagoni, Lauriston Road

by Victoria Huntley IF gluttony is a deadly sin then I should be six feet under by now. My first foray into Sardinian food left me practically unable to walk and, as I wa

by Victoria Huntley

IF gluttony is a deadly sin then I should be six feet under by now.

My first foray into Sardinian food left me practically unable to walk and, as I waddled home, passers by were startled by the audible sound of cheese, wine, salami, pasta and seafood sloshing around in my stomach.

It's very easy to over indulge at Su Sazzagoni in chichi Victoria Park Village (South Hackney to you and me). Owner Elena Sollai, who made the leap to the UK from Sardinia in 2007, makes sure that all her customers have everything they want, and she does it with boundless enthusiasm.

"The menu is 10 per cent Italian and 90 per cent Sardinian," Elena explains, starting us off with an aperitif of Sardinian "Champagne" and olives.


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"We import all vegetables, pasta, olive oil, wines and deli produce, even the cakes we sell over counter are shipped in from Italy."

Wafer thin carta da musica bread drizzled with olive oil follows before an enormous plate of antipasto sardo, a selection of cured meats, salami, cheese and grilled vegetables, arrives on our table.

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Bread keeps appearing in front of us and it's so moreish that we've pretty much gorged ourselves on that before spicy baby peppers filled with tuna and capers and three kinds of pecorino cheese and delicious squid stuffed with seafood pesto served in a tomato sauce (and we're still only on the starters).

Sardinian dumplings filled with potatoes, cheese and mint in a tomato sauce come next but the meal's real triumph is a pair of seafood pasta dishes.

The crab ravioli made with black squid ink pasta is light and delicious while the Fregola ai frutti di mare, a risotto-like dish made with tiny pearl-like balls of pasta, was full of flavour and prawns, lingoustines, squid, mussels and a kick of chilli.

Succulent char-grilled tuna rounds off the savoury part of our meal and we finish off with a sweet pastry filled with fresh pecorino cheese and honey.

The main menu alters every three weeks but always offers a hearty choice in pizzas, pasta, meat, fish and seafood and vegetarian dishes.

The bar stocks Sardinian wines including the restaurant's own label in red and white, which are also available over the counter at the deli, and liqueurs including limoncello and mirto are also stocked.

The four long canteen-style tables make for a buzzing atmosphere and after a few glasses of wine we were happily chatting to the people next to us.

Ratings:

Food: ****

Atmosphere: ****

Overall: ****

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