An unapologetically irreverent, borderline chaotic take on the neighbourhood osteria with no shortage of verve or cross-cultural inspiration.
It may take three or four reads to make sense of the menu at Testùn. Even then, you’ll probably need a rundown of the “porchetta porn-ino” or “kare kare chicken spiedino”. There’s a lot going on – and yes, that really is Haddaway’s “What is Love” thumping from the speakers.
Skewers of grilled mortadella, meanwhile, land just-charred in all the right places, their saltiness offset by seeded mustard and chunky pistachio pesto.
When the ideas work, they work. “Pasta takoyaki” Italianises the popular Japanese street snack by crumbing and deep-frying a block of rigatoni tossed with octopus, olives and potatoes, then dressing it in Kewpie-style mayo, Bulldog sauce and katsuobushi flakes. Skewers of grilled mortadella, meanwhile, land just-charred in all the right places, their saltiness offset by seeded mustard and chunky pistachio pesto.
Strangely, the cloying sweetness of miso and blood-orange juice sends otherwise perfectly cooked tagliatelle with mushrooms and fermented soy butter off piste. And there’s far more fresh and acidic relief on the new-wave natty wine list than in a salad of Brussels sprouts and broccolini soused in green goddess and pecorino.
Does the vision sometimes get caught up in its own cleverness? Sure, but there’s no denying the thrill of seeing young talent curing their own salumi, rewriting the playbook and giving it a red-hot go.