Here at The Idle Man, we love food. We visited Tuyo, a Mediterranean inspired restaurant in the heart of Hackney. Find out what we had to say about this wonderful little restaurant with a lot of heart.
Now considered one of those hip and up-and-coming places, Hackney is seeing a regeneration that is unprecedented in London. The food scene in this part of the capital has also seen a huge influx of restaurateurs trying to make a name for themselves in one of London's oldest parts. Although many are trying, it is hard to find one doing it as well as a beautiful little restaurant named Tuyo. Atop of this youthful and vibrant area, sits a warm Meditteranean gem with big aspirations.
Situated on a small bridge leading into the heart of Hackney, Tuyo is striking from the minute you walk past. The black walls on the outside, combined with large windows, give you the nod of invitation to stare at what's on the interior. An array of tables (most of which are full) and beaming smiles from the more than helpful staff make you want to step into this fantastic little space. An open plan kitchen and cocktail bar draw you in and before you know it, you've sat down with a large "Greek Style" gin whilst you peruse the menu.
The choices we are faced with on the menu all sound just as delicious as the last and, after much deliberation help from the staff regarding the best dishes and a starter of incredible olive bread and hummus, we come to a decision on what to order. We chose six very varied dishes, all of which sound equally as delicate as the last.
An incredible halloumi salad with roast beetroot, orange hazelnuts and 8 year aged balsamic vinegarette appears at our table first, followed by the first fish course. Squid with heritage tomatoes, lilliput capers, gremolata and 8 year aged balsamic. If the flavours of the first two carry on throughout the rest of the meal then we are in for a treat. These tapas style dishes are perfect for the warm summer evenings, both of which are incredibly light and yet pack such raw flavour it's hard not to be impressed.
Like clock work, the remaining four dishes start to appear at our table within minutes of each other. If the first two dishes were good, we were blown away even more by the remainder of the mains.
Seabream with puy lentils, avocado puree, goat’s cheese and mint gremolata and the octopus with pepperonata with hummus and cumin yoghurt made up the remainder of our fish dishes. The presentation on both of these dishes is breathtaking, to say the least. Well thought out, executed with huge care and attention and both tasting as good as they look.
Spiced lamb tagine with roasted sweet potatoes, Greek yoghurt, marsala apricots and prunes, followed by duck breast and bulgur wheat with a date chutney and nutmeg carrot puree. If that wasn't enough, a free range chicken thigh and honey poached apricots with sumac yoghurt and pistachios, more than sufficed our carnivorous desires. Just when we think that's it a desert appears from the chef himself. Oh go on then, if we have to eat it!
The great thing about Tuyo is that you can get away with wearing anything really. It is a place where anything goes and has a cool enough vibe that you wouldn't look out of place in a suit or just a jeans a T-shirt. We'd recommend wearing a shirt, trousers and some high top Converse just to give the perfect balance of smart casual.
Tuyo is, to say the least, one of the best restaurants in Hackney, if not East London. Warm staff combined with an even warmer atmosphere made the whole experience of Tuyo wonderful from start to finish. If you are in Hackney then we definitely recommend heading down to this beautiful little restaurant. You won't regret it.