A nuovo-Italian neighbourhood osteria, where fun is the name of the game and everyone is welcome.
Testùn is the local we all wish was our own, centred around enjoyment, light-hearted fun, generosity of spirit and punchy flavours. With a team of Italiano hospitality pros behind the restaurant (as well as newly refreshed Threecoins & Sons), it’s a well thought out and smooth-running operation beneath the jovial atmosphere, complete with lace curtains, mismatched plates, raw brickwork and a bright colour scheme. But this isn’t your nonna’s osteria. Up-tempo music pumps, wine is decidedly trendy (with a few Italian heavyweights thrown in), and dishes take sharp turns away from tradition.
Buttery green olives and focaccia with whipped butter are bang on and geared for snacking.
Pick up a menu, and you might spy “Italian Sesame Scallop and Prawn Toast” alongside grilled skewers of mortadella dressed in buttermilk, maple and jalapeño salsa and dusted with chipotle – Toto, we’re not in Italy anymore. Yet there are more hits than misses. Buttery green olives and focaccia with whipped butter are bang on and geared for snacking. Salumi spuma – which sees the sausage aerated into something resembling spread – comes with roasted and glazed Jerusalem artichoke chips on crostino. Strange? Sure. But it really works. Ditto the “Parmigiana” fried chicken, that riffs on a classic but presents it anew in a perfect mix of salty, crisp and fatty flavours.
A mixed crowd of couples, extended families and groups of friends fill the dining room and bar, and while there’s energy, the pacing is comfortable, adding to the sense that, a couple of years into its life, Testùn is ticking along nicely.