Il Cudega

358 Westgate St, E8 3RL
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9am to 6pm I Tuesday to Sunday

This place is just wonderful – a crowd-funded deli and day-time restaurant with simple and high-quality, affordable plates, a welcoming atmosphere and two passionate owners with a backstory that will make your heart melt. We gravitate towards the deli-counter where endless rows of organic cheeses and meats are paired with wines. Everything is from Lombardy in Northern Italy – the home district of the two friends and owners Luca and Giovanni. Plates of prosciutto and shavings of Grana Padano, a young hard cheese that practically melts on the tongue,  get our already fired up hearts pumping harder. We follow with an excellent pumpkin risotto, and a classic from the region: vitel toné – thin cold cuts of tender veal served with a tuna and caper-flavoured mayo (see image above) – this one is unreal. Any drawbacks? Well, the licence doesn’t stretch into the evening so after we’ve polished off a deliciously creamy and not too sweet tiramisu and a final glass of pudding wine, we have to move on from what would otherwise be the perfect place to linger indefinitely. Word on the street, there are plans to open evenings, but until then, we’ll have to do with lazy weekend lunches and regular supper clubs, announced on Twitter.