*Update: this restaurant has now closed*
We’ve recently discovered a neighbourhood gem of a restaurant – Ostuni in Queen’s Park. Ostuni is a city in Puglia, in the provence of Brindisi and I’d love to visit it. We’ve only visited Puglia twice and both times we went to Gallipoli so it’s about time we explored more of Puglia – the heel of the boot. But I digress… this post is about the wonderful food at Ostuni, the restaurant – in London!
Situated on a quiet street filled with restaurants and quirky design studios, Ostuni boasts a lovely outside terrace. We’ve visited twice so far and have sat both inside and outside.
The interior is designed to reflect the traditional materials used to build the Trulli of Puglia – those cute little white huts that look a bit like Hobbit homes.
As it’s a Pugliese restaurant, the food and wine is dedicated to the cuisine of the region and they serve traditional pasta from Puglia such as Orecchiette with cime di rapa and spaghetti with lobster (one of my favourites!). There is also a ‘fornello pronto’, which is a classically made charcoal and wood-fired oven.
And so to the food! As I said, we’ve eaten here twice so here’s what we ate on both visits combined. Of course we always like to start with an Aperol Spritz and some bread. The bread basket at Ostuni features homemade bread and tarallucci, which I love.
For starters we tried the Burrata d’Andria e ciambotta – burrata with aubergine, peppers and tomatoes, Tonno (tuna) carpaccio with pink peppercorn, celery & lemon, Calamari with zucchine fritti and Asparago bianco e tartufo – a delicious, fresh salad of shaved white asparagus, celeriac, black radish with pomegranate, pecorino & truffle oil.
Just look at the colours of the tonno carpaccio! Definitely a good choice if you want a light starter before your main.
The first time we visited we opted for the L’arogosta, which is thick spaghetti with lobster, fresh parsley and a tomato sauce. It’s seasonal so is not always on the menu but if it is, I highly recommend you order it! It’s a set price and feeds 2 to 3 people. Even though there were only two of us, it was so delicious we had no problem devouring it all.
The second time we visited we both opted for the special, which I can’t quite remember the name of (should’ve taken notes!) but it was Orecchiette with tomatoes and a regional soft cheese. It was served warm rather than hot and as it was a hot day, it was a great pasta choice. The flavours were delicate and fresh.
As per usual, we had no space for dessert but they do have an enticing dessert menu.
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian meal (or Pugliese to be precise) then I highly recommend Ostuni in Queen’s Park (they also have a branch in Highgate). The food is wonderful, great service and a lovely ambience.