Being such a food lover, you could say I got a little excited to hear about a supper club night at new deli/cafe Il Cudega, (Fount London, Railway Arch 358, Westgate Street, London, E8 3 RN); a new Italian delicatessen/cafe specialising in Lombardian food. I took one of my best foodie friends, Natasha and I can definately say we had a blast and went home full, tipsy and happy.
Il Cudega is located under an archway at Fount London. Inside, the set up is large with an open kitchen at the back, followed by a wide deli counter with a vast selection of charcuterie and cheeses all from Lombardy and a seating area for approx 30 people, giving a sense of exclusivity. Made me feel like I was wallking into something different. As we entered, Tash and I were greeted by a welcoming Giovanni in Italian which obviously ticked a box for me. Love all that Italian shennany! Anything that helps me feel like I am in the fatherland always puts a smile on my face.
We were seated at our table and straight away we were given food & wine. No messing about, just the way I like it.
First of all we were given a plate of ‘Raspadura’ which is shavings made by a knife on the top of a large wheel of fresh ‘gran padano’ style of cheese. I was not aware of this little fact beforehand, so it was nice to have the team from Il cudega come over and explain this and what each other dish was and its origins. Love a fact!
After gorging on cheese and fighting over the last shavings with Tash, we were then given our first proper dish of the evening, The ANTIPASTI.
The cold starter of a huge dollop of gorgonzola ‘croce’, prosciutto crudo from lago di como, wine glazed pears, acacia honey & walnut crumble was INSANE. Tasha and I were taking turns making inappropriate noises and pulling screwy faces on how good these combinations of flavour worked.
Served with semi frizzante red wine: Sarai Capriano del Colle Marzemino DOC, San Michele
By this point, both Tash and I knew that what we involved in something special and just was ready to embrace whatever else was on offer for the rest of the night
After the antipasti, it was followed by the PRIMO by which I belived was the best dish of the night. This lasagna was made with Delica pumpkin (again informed by the guys, grown in Mantova, Lombardy) sugared beet, spicy gorgonzola and thyme butter. This dish has truthfully jumped up to my top 5 last dishes I would ever want to eat. I will most definately try to make my own version at some pont so watch thsi space. The delica pumpkin has sweetned flesh that when baked with the spicy gorgonzola was a match made in heaven. Contradiction of flavours that just work.
Wine paired: San Colombano Riserva, Pietrasanta
Next for the SECONDO, Polenta vol-au-vent with mild gorgonzola and black wild mushrooms. THOSE MUSHROOMS were something else. The best way to describe them were that they had a meaty texture, packed with full of rich mushroom earthy flavour. I will definately will be looking out for these. So if anyone knows where I can purchase these gems please let me know. 🙂
Wine: Sassello Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Mamete Prevostini
Then the surprise of the night was the gorgonzola sorbet. Now I have to admit I was little bit worried that I would not enjoy this part of the meal. Possibly the first bump in the road? When it comes to ice-cream, I am a classic type of girl, chocolate, vanilla, pistachio etc. So this came to a shock as it worked, really worked. Tash went in first before me and when I saw her give the green light I went in. I was so happy that this worked, it realy was not meant to work on paper. We were so sad when each of our balls of sorbet disappeared, so we cheekily asked for seconds and the staff happily complied.
When we thought that the meal was over, we were surprised when slices of panettone made from a pasticeria In Milan turned up with mascarpone Cream. At this point we were both full & content.
Wine: Passito M Montenetto Di Brescia IGT Marzemino, San Michele
The food and wine pairing across the 6 course meal was exceptional. We didn’t hang around for the coffee as we both had to get last trains to south london but we both went home very happy and would recommed anyone into regional italian cooking to come along to their next supper clubs as I believe they do happen regularly.
Finally, I would like to say that it was great to meet the team at Il Cudega. Really admire what Luca & Giovanni are trying to accomplish in east London with their food venture. If the quality of food & wine offered at this meal is a reflection of what the future holds at Il Cudega, then i believe that they have started on the right foot.
Bocco di Lupo