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Restaurants, Italian South Kensington
4 out of 5 stars
Iddu (© Rosangela Borgese)
© Rosangela Borgese

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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This Sicilian restaurant in South Kensington brilliantly bridges the food cultures of Italy and SW7

It’s hard to imagine a starker contrast in eating cultures than those of Sicily and South Kensington. While Sicilians take unashamed delight in their cuisine, the worried wealthy of SW7 think that most food is as dangerous as a lungful of plutonium-239.

Iddu caters for that mindset. The sourdough is seven-grain. Many ingredients are organic. Raw fruit and veg abound. Kale: check. Quinoa: check. Gluten-free rolls: check.

But it also bridges the two food cultures brilliantly, with dishes that, though almost embarrassingly healthy, still place pleasure first. Case in point was a ‘raw Aeolian vegetable salad’ – at least a dozen finely sliced varieties, each one packed with flavour, and so fresh I expected to see dirt on them. They were dressed with just superb olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Another fine salad (tuna and mixed veg) had a different dressing, showing the attention they pay to detail.

Even better was the caponata, Sicily’s great aubergine-and-celery-based dish. Iddu’s version is flawless, the veg perfectly cooked and all the complex flavours in balance. (When I told the waitress it was one of the best I had tasted, she cried: ‘But not as good as in Sicily!’)

On the whole, portions are not very large. But neither are the prices, given the quality and the location. Alcohol is fairly priced (house wines £5 a glass) and so are cocktails. The service makes you want to kiss it on both cheeks. And to cap it off, Iddu makes irresistible (and authentically Sicilian) baked goods including cannoli, citrus tarts and biscuits.

Iddu tries to import as much as possible from the homeland, which limits them (no fresh fish for instance), but does mean that ingredients are of five-star quality.

Iddu occupies a small, light-filled space in some of the most expensive real estate in London. The clientele reflects that, but you won’t feel out of place. As I was leaving, six scruffy young Italian guys plonked themselves down and ordered coffee. The waitress gave them a free plate of cookies.

Iddu says
This inviting new neighbourhood restaurant brings the warm, sociable spirit of Sicilian hospitality to South Kensington.

By: Richard Ehrlich



Address: 44 Harrington Road
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £40.
Opening hours: Open Mon-Sun 7.30am-10pm.
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