By Mersa Auda
Hackney foodies will be pleased to know that a new culinary gem is here to enrich the area’s gastronomical scene. Former Pidgin head chef, Adolfo De Cecco, has launched his own eatery in Clapton, and it promises to be a real treat. Casa Fofó is a welcoming space with a light-flooded main room, a communal table in the basement, and a garden ready to welcome guests in summer.
A regularly-changing tasting menu of around six dishes embraces international flavours while celebrating elements of Adolfo’s Italian heritage and other European culinary traditions. All is prepared using locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. The close-knit team can be seen at the back working in harmony and assembling each plate with great care. The informal chic ambience and exposed kitchen support the idea of open exchange and communication at the heart of the restaurant’s mission.
Casa Fofó’s tasting menu is a flavour journey not to be missed, as every dish impresses in its own unique way. One of the first menus presented is an East-Asian-inspired selection of plates with an Italian touch. A star dish from this menu is the almond and crab tortello. A meeting of defined but delicate flavours, it has subtle notes of ginger, a complex nutty background and a bubbling foam on the surface, calling to mind the seaside. A real delight.
Meats are cooked to perfection here and even the side breads — freshly baked focaccia and sourdough — deserve a mention. Another surprise is the nori, rice and horseradish dish, a pre-dessert that almost eludes description due to its contrasting yet harmonious textures and flavour notes.
To further enhance the experience, there is a parallel journey of very well-selected wine pairings to match each course. One can also explore the broad offering of low intervention wines, while enjoying small bites from the snack menu.
Nothing seems left to chance at Casa Fofó, and yet Adolfo says that when creating his dishes, he is mainly driven by instinct. Whatever his approach may be, the combination of unexpected flavours, command of techniques and awareness of global trends makes a visit to Adolfo’s kitchen a memorable experience.
158 Sandringham Rd, Clapton, London E8 2HS
Tel: 020 3021 0747