A first visit to Iddu, a Sicilian cafe and restaurant owned by the (genuinely Sicilian) chaps who’ve got the South Kensington Club next door, is exciting.
First things first: what does Iddu actually mean? Depending on which way Google takes you, it’s either a colloquial name for Stromboli, the tiny Aeolian Island off the north coast of Sicily that’s home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, or it’s a pronoun, meaning “he”, in Sicily’s dialect.
It’s more a neighbourhood café-wine bar than high-end restaurant. It’s aiming to be what in Italy is called a punto d’incontro, or “meeting place”, where you might just have an aperitivo or single course before moving on elsewhere. It’s pretty, too: chic copper lamps, cupboards with icebox fittings, and shelves of Sicilian produce.
We arrived for breakfast and found the menu short (which works for us as no one should have too much choice until the most important meal of the day is complete thus allowing more complex decisions to be made thereafter, in my opinion)
Palermo-born head chef Francesca D’Amico has placed the emphasis on dishes that are light and healthy so it was no surprise when we were presented with an embarrassingly healthy breakfast of bruschetta with smashed avocado and poached egg with a generous sprinkling of seeds. Don’t be alarmed by this description- it was pretty tasty. The poached egg envy we experienced with the perfectly formed eggs was soon forgotten.
There’s an extensive coffee menu, a list of cold-pressed juices and even – dear God – coconut water. Even the desserts, presented on a central deli table, are all gluten-free. We queried the authentic name for a dessert that we can only describe as pastry biscuits only to be told that they were in fact, erm, pastry biscuits.
Great, I think, I’ll tell my chums about this, and definitely come back for the live music and cocktails on a Tuesday.