Hackney’s railway arches, already home to the lauded Thai residency Som Saa, is about to get another tenant that’s sure to have further foodies flocking to London Fields. Il Cudega, an Italian deli and wine bar showcasing the flavours of the Lombardy region, will open in September, just a stone’s throw from the burgeoning restaurant scene in Richmond Road (Rawduck, Lardo, The Richmond).
Described as an eno-gastronomia and deli, Il Cudega works directly with several small ‘slow food’ producers in Lombardy to bring the region’s cheeses, charcuterie and wines to London. Open seven days a week, 8 am-6 pm, the venue operates as a café and take-away and vaunts a Focaccia Bar, where fresh flat breads will be cooked throughout the day and served Genovese-style – with toppings like crescenza (creamy cheese), a thin layer of melting lardo, or salciccia (sausage).
The oven will also be used to make Farinata (also called Cecina) a dish made of unleavened chickpea flour that can be eaten by itself or as a filling for the focaccia. Other classic dishes include: Risotto Giallo alla Milanese; Osso Bucco; Risotto Giallo Saltato (saffron risotto fried into a thin layer); and Zabaione (a dessert made with egg yolk, sugar and Marsala wine).
The site, just off Westgate Street, has a shared outdoor area with gardens, seating, a gelato stall, bike racks and a greenhouse growing vegetables for the restaurant. 10% of all profits will go towards funding Hackney community activities and supporting food-related local charities.
True to its mission to educate Londoners is the produce of Lombardy, Il Cudega founders Giovanni Brighi and Luca Gaggioli, have installed Paolo Elesbani as head chef, who hails from Brescia in Lombardy.