ENTERTAINMENT

Tom Parker Bowles reviews Gloria in Shoreditch


Gloria

54-56 Great Eastern St, London

Rating:

Gloria, a wildly extravagant Shoreditch trattoria, doesn't do things by halves. From the ivy-clad, pastel-yellow colored outer walls, flanked by chorus lines made from juicy terracotta pots filled with herbs, to the charming, talkative waiters in pink candy stripe jackets, the Neapolitan lounge lizard in poor light conditions and the throbbing house / metal / disco hairies Soundtrack, the place is a hands-in-the-air Singalongaconga explosion. Like a kitsch explosion in a Dolce & Gabbana factory, a restaurant run by Tinto Brass in lascivious soft focus.

From the ivy-clad, pastel-yellow colored outer walls, flanked by chorus lines made from juicy terracotta pots filled with herbs, to the charming, talkative waiters in pink candy stripe jackets, the Neapolitan lounge lizard in poor light conditions and the throbbing house / metal / disco hairies Soundtrack, the place is a hands-in-the-air Singalongaconga explosion

From the ivy-clad, pastel-yellow colored outer walls, flanked by chorus lines made from juicy terracotta pots filled with herbs, to the charming, talkative waiters in pink candy stripe jackets, the Neapolitan lounge lizard in poor light conditions and the throbbing house / metal / disco hairies Soundtrack, the place is a hands-in-the-air Singalongaconga explosion

There are great vases with flowers and tables with a mosaic top, bright ceramics on the Amalfi Coast and kitschy, high-catholic busts of Jesus. Even the lampshades are wearing lace. Then there's the menu, filled with nduja-nduja, wink-wink dishes like "Filippo & # 39; s Big Balls", a fried squid leg called "Fry Me A River", "Carmina Burrata" pasta, a YouPorn pizza and Culatello is ham, what Wu-Tang is for hip-hop. Le Gavroche, it is not.

If you dive into the well-chosen wine list at reasonable prices, you will find a place where wine is not just "dry" but "splashing into your mouth". There is a Campanian white that was given as "a bunch of underage teenagers in a parking lot, they loved it". And a Dolcetto D & # 39; Alba "feels even better like a night with Rocky Balboa with your eyes closed". And so my heart sinks. With all their glorious camp charm, comedy menus like five pound all-you-can-eat sushi are rarely synonymous with a decent dinner.

But from the first bite, an alabaster mess of thread-like, cool-milky, gently smoked stracciatella, you know that Gloria has both fur coat and panties. The cheese carries the winning sweetness of the exquisitely fresh. Also covered perfectly. Once you've worked through all of these fun allusions, the menu lists the suppliers along with their phone numbers. Gloria may be fabulously funny, but the food is dead serious. Culatello is indeed a powerful piece of ham, thinly made from shaved tissue paper, so it mixes the silk with a large, intense pigsty.

Crocchè (Italian croquettes) offer a joyful contrast of crispy crust and seeping center, topped with guanciale and black truffle. You sway on the right side of too much. A pizza "Robert De Nitro" is more mean streets than Bad Grandpa, with an intense tomato sauce, pools of melted mozzarella, a handful of ricotta, a strong, spicy salami and a blistered, swollen crust. It's a fine pizza by itself that shames most of these "artisanal" joints. But here it is only a joy in an endless cavalry of carbohydrate-soaked joy.

La Gran Carbonara only uses pecorino, guanciale, egg yolk and pepper whips as it is right and right. But since this is Gloria, it's confused in a hollowed-out round of cheese with all kinds of theater frills. The noodles are firm and just chewy, each strand is caressed by a rich, salty sauce that, given the moderation, pushes two fingers up. Remove all the happy excess and you have classic trattoria dishes as traditional and uncomplicated as the space is over the top.

In these strange, uncertain times, Gloria cuts through the darkness like a shaft of pure, unfiltered Amalfi sun

In these strange, uncertain times, Gloria cuts through the darkness like a shaft of pure, unfiltered Amalfi sun

At this point, after at least ten pounds of gorgeous old-school stodge and a couple of glasses of wine (they leave bottles on the table – hooray!), Things become sleepy. In the best possible way.

However, we are less convinced than tempted to order “The Incomparable Lemon Pie”. It sticks out of the plate like a giant meringue dorsal fin. And is about as subtle as a lemon meringue cake can be, with overly tasty notes stored by a really sour curd cheese.

We stagger out and struggle through a dining room full of joy and happy noise from happy eaters. In these strange, uncertain times, Gloria cuts through the darkness like a shaft of pure, unfiltered Amalfi sun.

£ 30 per head

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