Having put out a last minute request for a Friday night dining location, Martin Yarnit of the blog Taste for Bologna gave a few great tips including Zucca (a terrific little Italian on Bermondsey Street) and Boca de Lupo (near the top of my current wish list!). By that stage however we were back out East and therefore decided to try and find somewhere nearby- a quick blog search later and I had closed in on Su Sazzagoni- a family run Sardinian eatery in Victoria Park.
The only time I have been over to the quaint little area next to Victoria Park was to visit a branch of the Ginger Pig- a great butcher that has the added benefit of opening on Sundays! There is also a good little wine shop- Bottle Apostle.
Arriving at Su Sazzagoni you are greeted with a deli counter jammed full of cured meats, sun dried tomatoes and other tasty Sardininan treats. The interior is bright and modern with low hanging lights and long wooden tables- there are no individual tables so we were sandwiched in between a group of six and another table of four. Given that a recent poll on lastminute.com found that being too close to other diners was the top-ranked bug bear for people at restaurants, this might not be to everyone's taste, but the convivial atmosphere made up for any lack of personal space.
On to the food- the menu is formed of antipasti (most of which seemed to be based on some form of foccacia), el primi, el secondi and dessert. Following our recent trip to Bologna we were more than aware of the size of Italian meals and, despite our gargantuan appetites, have suffered the realisation that we are both incapable of eating a full Italian meal.
In this knowledge we bypassed the rather uninspiring antipasti, shared an el primi, and had a secondi each. With such tasty offerings as spaghetti with tomato, chili and lobster, and squid ink tagliatelle, it was hard to decide what to go for. We settled on a papardelle duck ragu- this was a great dish. Light and springy homemade papardelle, tender duck and fresh ragu. If I had been served this dish in one of the local restaurants in Bologna, I would have been more than happy.
For el secondi I went for the grilled Sardinian sausage, roast potatoes and grilled aubergine and courgette. The sausage was delicious- coarsely cut pork, well seasoned with a strong flavour of fennel seeds. The veg and potatoes were simply okay- certainly nothing special.
The Fashionista went for an interesting dish of salmon carpaccio, tuna tartare and prawns with garlic, lemon and parsley butter. We were both quite excited about this dish, however it was underseasoned and, while the quality of the ingredients was undoubtedly high, it was just a little bland. The dish really could also have done with some sort of accompaniment - the Fashionista asked for some bread to go along with the mountain of fresh fish.
Su Sazzagoni is a friendly, family-run restaurant and I think that, provided you stick to the more basic items on the menu, you would have a great time- all of the pasta dishes coming out of the restaurant looked tasty as did the pizzas. Unfortunately though, tuna tartare and salmon carpaccio were just a step too far for this restaurant...