Trullo Madly Deeply: Talking Travel and Tomatoes at London’s Favourite Italian

Trullo Madly Deeply: Talking Travel and Tomatoes at London’s Favourite Italian

fell hard for Trullo when it
opened back in 2010. The restaurant’s popularity has remained
steady in the seven years since, and it has come to represent the
power of simple food served in uncomplicated settings. In a city
where restaurants come and go like buses, places like this provide
a steadying comfort, offering seasonal Italian plates such as
oven-baked fish, handmade pasta and crumbly almond tart washed down
with plenty of wine.
It’s fuss-free dining at a reasonable price, every night of the

Located just off
Highbury Corner
, head chef Tim Siadatan opened Trullo with his
partner Jordan Frieda. Their vision was simple – to create a
neighbourhood restaurant serving real, regional Italian. Since
then, Tim has tapped in to his former experience in the kitchens of
Moro and
St John, introducing subtle British and other global
flavours to the menu.

Guests at Trullo sink in to brown leather booths in front of
tables dressed in white cloth. Just like a classic trattoria, the
windows are half-concealed by net curtains, the walls are white and
the dark wooden floorboards are chipped. Their silky beef-shin ragu
with pappardelle has become an unwavering staple. And if you’ve had
the pleasure of tucking into a plate – either here or at sister
restaurant Padella in Borough Market – you’ll understand why.
This month sees the release of Tim’s debut cookbook, Trullo, which
celebrates the British-leaning Italian fare that has led to the
restaurant’s roaring success.

Tim took a moment’s break from whipping up the best pasta in
town to chat about his new book, travel and the joys of a perfectly
ripe tomato.

Where does your love for Italian food come from?

My love of Italian food stems a family holidays in Italy and
training under Jamie Oliver at Fifteen.

What are your memories of the early days of Trullo? How has the
restaurant changed since it opened?

It was hard work – and I was about two stone lighter! Now Trullo
is a well-oiled machine with a professional, passionate and fun
team who help create a beautiful neighbourhood restaurant day in,
day out.

How has your cooking developed since opening your own

When I first started I played it safe with regional Italian food
and lacked some confidence within my own cooking capability. As the
years have gone by I have become more ambitious and starting
experimenting using my experience of growing up in the UK and
working at St John and Moro. We’re still very much an Italian
restaurant but there’s British accent.

You don’t stay strictly within the Italian cuisine bracket,
where does the other inspiration for dishes come from?

Between Jordan and I we have worked at The River Café, St John and Moro – three of the
best restaurants in London. We wanted to use our experience of
awesome schooling and bring it to an affordable local restaurant. I
think we achieved that, which is why it’s become such a

What is one of your fondest memories of eating in Italy?

I have so many, but one my earliest was when I was 14 and for
the first time ate huge, perfectly ripe tomato in the middle of
drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. I realised then
how special food can be.

What was your childhood like in terms of food? Who taught you
to cook?

My childhood food was a real mongrel of dishes ranging from
old-school English and quite decadent dishes from my granny to
hearty family meals such as shepherd’s pie or spag bol cooked by my
mum. Then when I stayed with my dad he would make Iranian food –
subconsciously, I think I learned a lot between them.

What is it about Italian food that you think attracts people so

I think people are drawn to Italian food because it’s just so
flavoursome but also provides a balanced diet – Italians know what
the human body needs.

Is there any one place in Italy you visit regularly?

I suppose Tuscany
around the olive harvest
is the one place I go every year.
Otherwise I mix it up and tend to love every part I visit.

Tell us about the new book. How long have you been working on
it? And what can we expect to find in there?

The Trullo cookbook has been a real labour of love and took a
lot of work. It’s all of the greatest hits from Trullo over the
past seven years and is laid out like the menu. It includes lots of
tips on all sorts of things, like how to roll pasta, make the
perfect pulses or roast a game bird, as well as well as barbecue
food, little snacks and, of course, all the carefully balanced

Where is your favourite place in London at the moment for:




Rochelle Canteen





Late-night snacks?

The bar at The Clove Club

Discover More
Rosie Birkett’s Insider Guide to Eating in East London