INSIDE LONDON’S QUIRKY NEW TRUFFLE RESTAURANT
Love truffles? There’s no shortage of this Italian delicacy at Tartufi & Friends, a smart new restaurant inside Harrods. Words: Vicky Mayer
Back in the day Garlic and Shots was one of Soho’s go-to hangouts for W1 hipsters. Terrifyingly all the food came laced with a generous punch of garlic as did the drinks. These days the idea of featuring one key ingredient – Lobster & Burger, The Chicken Shop, Franco Manco et al – is still going strong. Which is why the idea of a truffle-led restaurant doesn’t sound so crazy. But does it work?
Located in the basement at Harrods, the very smart Tartufi & Friends is a grown-up, welcoming space where you can sink into buttery leather banquettes after a hard day of shopping. Not shying away from the main ingredient, the menu does indeed boast truffle with everything apart from a few desserts. So up for the challenge we plunged in, ordering the house special of fresh taglioni with truffles. And what a plate of pasta it was, perfectly cooked al dente and drenched in butter and pecorino. The earthy shaved truffle added an extra depth to this moreish dish. The main courses of steak with truffle and Milanese veal cutlet didn’t disappoint either, both beautifully executed dishes with that perfect Italian touch. The service here is exemplary with the friendly staff helping out with suggested wine pairings (with a stand-out Gavi) and thorough explanations of all the dishes. To finish we split the house pudding – vanilla ice cream with figs and pine nuts, drizzled with truffle oil.
If you’re a truffle fan you’ll love this place and even if you’re not, it’s worth visiting for the high standard of cooking alone. My one disappointment is that the restaurant is only open till 9pm and there’s no daylight. But these are mere quibbles. Book a table now for September when the first Autumnal white truffles arrive from Alba.
Tartufi & Friends, 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL. Harrods.com/tartufi-friends