Excuse the fuzzy pics - it was very dark and flash no option.
Valentine's Day is no big deal to us - there's no presents, no cards and "Happy Valentine's Day" is said with a sarcastic wink. We did take the opportunity though to spend some quality time together, have a three course meal and overindulge on some bubbly. I was way too lazy to cook this year and decided to go for Marks&Spencer's Valentine's special. Which was yummy and exactly what we were after.

So the following day, Susie and I decided to celebrate that it wasn't Valentine's Day and ventured out to Soho on a girlie date night. Our first choice was Flatiron on Beak Street, which is meant to serve excellent steaks for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, there is a re-occurring trend of "no reservations" going on at the moment and we were kindly informed that we would have to wait for 3 hours for a table. There we were at 9pm on a Friday night in the middle of Soho with no reservation, absolutely starving and in dire need of a drink. After a lot of walking we finally found Spuntino on Rupert Street. (We searched forever because there was no name on the front of the restaurant.)

Once again we found ourselves in one of those new trendy restaurants where you have to queue for ages (45 minutes) and are then squashed on some terribly uncomfortable high stools alongside a narrow bar, inbetween some overly trendy hipsters with wispy moustaches.

The Prosecco was Polpo (with a pretty awesome label), it was expensive but very, very nice and went down a treat (of course no champagne glasses here, we were drinking our fizz from miniscule tumblers).

Sharing seemed to be the done thing around the bar and we decided to follow the trend. We had Scallops (there were only 3) with Chermoula and Cauliflower, which were nicely cooked, but the sauce only tasted of cumin and everything was floating in such vast amounts of butter that we couldn't even taste the delicate cauliflower purée.
The ribbon steak with anchovies and chicorée was, again, very well cooked, the meat tender and juicy but the concoction was too weird for our liking. Rather than using the anchovies as a flavour enhancer, the chef had created a sauce entirely made of anchovies which resulted in the beef just tasting of bitter fish. Shame.
The fries were ribbons of fried potato which were more a crisp than a chip and the Spuntino Slaw was red and white cabbage in some vinegar and oil and, while tasty, at £5 was pretty steep.
So really, the only dish I would say was really nice was the Pulled Pork and Apple slider - which was so miniscule we both ended up having half a bite before it was gone.

I have to say that these sort of dinner dates are the most disappointing. When chefs blatantly know how to cook, the ingredients are second to none, the location is great and everything just goes terribly wrong because being "trendy & different" is the utmost priority. And why on earth we had to pay 12.5% service charge still baffles me. We were having bar food, sat at a bar and got no service, apart from our food being plonked in front of us.

I was expecting old fashioned, well cooked American food, served in a buzzing yet relaxed environment but ended up feeling rushed, stressed, hungry and a lot poorer than when I went in. And as I said before, it's a real shame.  
Rating 4/10.

Have you been to Spuntino before? What did you think?

Light dinner for two, including a bottle of Prosecco and 12.5% service charge £68.62.

61 Rupert St  
London W1D 7PW

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