From their tables, diners are able to see the chefs at work

We spent a long time deciding what to order at Su Sazzagoni.  The problem was one of abundance; the list of starters alone (featuring seafood, dried meat, cheese and vegetable options) presented a dizzying array of choice.  It didn’t get any easier – with a large number of pasta, rice, fish and meat options to follow, it wasn’t just the content of the meal, but it’s very structure that was thrown into doubt.

My gut instinct was to go for fish and seafood throughout – but then second thoughts began to kick in.  “To have fish for both starter and main course would be a waste”, I reasoned.  “There are many places that do sea bass and monkfish, but very few that offer this selection of rustic Sardinian meat dishes.  It would be a shame to come here without trying one.”

And so we went for a combination that attempted to sample the full range of what is on offer here. Both the charcoal-grilled squid and the torta caprina (baked peppers with rosemary and roasted goats’ cheese) lived up to expectations.  My main dish of venison and lentils with red wine sauce was certainly worth coming for, though the despite the tastiness of its Sardinian sausage topping, the pizza didn’t quite meet the high standards we had been expecting.  (Admittedly, we ordered it partly through a somewhat Anglocentric sense of decorum).

The mirto (myrtle berry liqueur) was a perfect way to accompany our pannacotta to round off the meal.  And it’s also symbolic of how Su Sazzagoni have made a real effort to make this a Sardinian, rather than an Italian, establishment.  A deli sells a range of hard-to-find products and the menu changes regularly to reflect the seasonal produce being imported.

This is very much a neighbourhood restaurant (though it’s in rather a well-heeled neighbourhood, and some of the prices reflect that). The premises are open all day, serving breakfast, coffee and sandwiches as well as the standard lunch and dinner menus.  The welcoming and homely atmosphere is underlined by the seating arrangements, with diners sitting together on long tables.

To me, the fish and seafood is what Su Sazzagoni do best (although I have a personal bias).  My squid was delicious, and I will have to come back to try the sea bass, the monkfish, the gran misto mare and the crab meat ravioli.
One way of avoiding having to narrow down the choice would be to attend one of the regular ‘cena agrituristica’ events, where a phenomenal seventeen courses are on offer.

“Man is condemned to be free”, wrote Jean Paul Sartre, and having visited Su Sazzagoni I felt I knew what he meant.  There is no pre-existing ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do things – you just have to take your choice.  And don’t let anyone reason you into the most sensible course, or course of action – sometimes your gut instinct is right.

Su Sazzagoni
136 Lauriston Road E9 7LH
020 8985 8448

Other restaurant reviews: Abi Ruchi, Zaza Express, Namo

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