East Sicilian flavours in East London

A Sicilian-themed restaurant, Sotto Cucina & Bar, has opened in Whitechapel, in the basement of the Hyatt Palace City East hotel.

Head chef Alfio Laudani is from Catania, close to Mount Etna on Sicily’s east coast, and his menu is built around produce from the fertile volcanic soil of the region, including olives, olive oil and lemons.

Distinctive Sicilian dishes include fennel sausages, caponata and arancinetti – a version of the deep-fried stuffed rice balls popular on the island as street food. Timballo all Norma is a take on the famous pasta dish named in honour of Catania-born Vincenzo Bellini, composer of the opera Norma. These dishes are complemented by eight Sicilian wines featured on the list.

Alfio has worked in London for 17 years, including stints at Mayfair’s Cipriani and the Tate gallery’s Rex Whistler.

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