“One of the most exciting, and certainly most memorable dining experiences I have had of late, the menu extremely well thought out, and expertly prepared with the freshest local produce. I am certain it will quickly establish itself to join the rest of Razak Heletat’s prestigious restaurant portfolio as one of the best around.”
Local Acclaimed restauranter Razak Helatat is once again creating quite a bit of buzz on the scene with his new venture. Fresh off the huge success of the fabulous recently launched grown-up hangout Burnt Orange, and building on his already incredible flourishing empire of hugely successful eateries of unwavering quality with the likes of The Salt Room, with its vibrant array of stunning seafood dishes, and local favourite masters of cooking over fire – The Coal Shed . Razak has launched an ambitious new Italian restaurant in a beautifully restored 1930’s bank on Marlborough place.
Introducing Tutto (meaning “All”), inspired by the traditional Italian dining culture that focuses on simple quality and the Italian experience. Razak’s ethos for the restaurant of ‘bring everyone, eat everything’ through both hospitality and well-sourced, high quality seasonal food. The restaurant encourages friends and family to come together to drink and share hearty dishes in an ideal setting for both noon and evening.
Having had the pleasure of frequenting all the aforementioned establishments on numerous occasions, to say expectations were running high on our first visit to Tutto would be one of the biggest understatements I have ever written. As I reflect on our experience I must say that it really was nothing short of outstanding, and not to be missed.
Arriving one extremely cold winters evening, entranced by the warm and inviting glow emanating from windows of this beautiful grandiose building. As we are warmly greeted and shown to our seats it is difficult not to notice that many of the original Neo Georgian features have been kept and restored to create an informal dining space full of personality, these features are beautifully blended with more contemporary elements such as modern looking chandeliers hanging from the bank’s restored high ceilings, eye-catching art adorn the otherwise intentionally sparse walls, and greenery surrounding velvet-banquette seats with marble table tops. I love that they could easily fit a few more tables in, but have left plenty of space between them so guests have a more intimate experience.
We begin our Italian adventure by settling in with some delicious drinks from the carefully crafted menu of cocktails. My companion sips on a refreshing Bellini, whereas I cant resist their speciality Ananas Affumicato made with Mezcal Verde, Galliano and spiced charred pineapple that really hits all the right notes and slips down a treat. It seems word has got round about Tutto as it is buzzing, full of happy content diners conversing over some quite delicious looking plates of food. We finished our cocktails and struggle to decide on something to drink with dinner from the inspired wine list which boasts a huge 90-bottle selection covering the breadth of Italy. Thankfully our lovely waitress is happy to recommend a bottle to our taste and is spot on with than elegant crisp Gardinega Suave.
The The mouth watering menu is nicely designed and is proudly headed by the Tutto’s ethos “bring everyone, eat everything,” which seems apt as the whole menu looks so delicious it was difficult not order everything we saw. Split under six self-explanatory headings of snacks, raw and cured, fried, pasta and rice, wood oven and grill, and sides. For the indecisive among us it is possible to order “Taste of Tutto” that is available for tables of two to eight people and features key dishes from the a la carte menu.
In true Italian tradition we start with some Cichetti (small plates) of Bone Marrow with parmesan, gremolata and toast, Seared Tuna with radish and beans, and beef carpaccio with pickled walnut, truffle and parmesan. All of which looked beautifully presented on arrival, though we were quick to dig and and mess it all up. Having never tried it before I ordered Bone Marrow out of curiosity, and I must admit, was a little taken aback when presented with an actual bone, sawed down the middle to reveal the nutritious and quite frankly delicious offerings found inside. The full bodied gemolata and salty parmesan further enhanced the creamy buttery taste of the melt-in-your mouth marrow, a must try for the more adventurous of you! In almost complete contrast, the Seared Tuna was intensely refreshing, with a surprise orange drizzle. The various textures and more than a hint of chilli really made this a spectacular dish that pulled my tastebuds in all sorts of spectacular directions. The star of the Cichetti show however was the beef carpaccio, velvety slithers of prime beef with the addition of potent truffle and parmesan shavings that did well not to overwhelm, and only further enhance the full flavour of the meat. Sublime!
Next up a couple of slightly larger plates. Cornish crab spaghetti with garlic and chilli, and seabass with wild mushrooms, shallots and confit garlic, and a side dish of crispy new potatoes with confit garlic pistachio pesto and marsapone. The crab pasta was hearty, fresh and tasty with just enough garlic and chilli to give it a little kick and not overwhelm the delicate flavour of the crab. The seabass was just fabulous. Succulent white flesh and a perfectly crispy skin topped with sweet and sticky roasted shallot and on a bed of earthy wild mushroom which really highlighted the distinctive slightly sweet flavour of the firm white meat.. Bravo! The crispy crunchy potatoes were equally as impressive, bursting with incredible flavours and textures, the perfect accompaniment to the Seabass.
At this point I would like to compliment front of house staff. It was comforting to see some familiar faces from the Salt-Room lending their expertise and experience . The service was on-point. Our waitress was always on-hand to top up our glasses, check our plates, and check if we were okay, but not at all overbearing and always with a friendly word and smile.
Now barely able to move, we felt it may be a little greedy to have pudding too, though we could not resist the traditional home-made desserts when they were offered up. We were sent to dessert heaven with the finest tiramisu and we have ever tasted. Decadently creamy and whipped to an absolute frenzy, so light and fluffy it could have floated right off the plate into our mouths. Absolutely delightful and a perfect end to a perfect meal.
Our evening at Tutto was one of the most exciting, and certainly most memorable dining experiences I have had of late, the menu extremely well thought out, and expertly prepared with the freshest local produce, with such an exciting range of flavours and a great deal of thought going into the presentation and composition of the dishes. The service we received was impeccable and the ambiance felt special, yet relaxed. Tutto is certainly an exciting next step for Helalat, I am certain it will quickly establish itself to join the rest of his prestigious restaurant portfolio as one of the best around.