Restaurant review - Sardus Cucina, Altrincham

CHE Dec18 Sardus Cucina

CHE Dec18 Sardus Cucina - Credit: Archant

You don’t need to book a flight to get a taste of Sardinia... Sardus Cucina in Altrincham is on the doorstep

Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with distinct characteristics. Towns and villages might make the same dish in different ways and they’ll have their own specialities that mark them out from each other. It’s these cooking traditions which define the identity of the people as much as their dialects and costumes.

Now a new wave of restaurant is springing up in the UK celebrating these regional variations, one of which is Sardus Cucina, a smart and welcoming place on Ashley Road, Altrincham, with plenty of comfortable banquette seating, warm exposed brickwork and a splendid bar.

The boss, Salvatore Sechi is from Sardinia, a man whose welcome is as big as his smile. His enthusiasm, as he takes you through the menu is contagious and soon we are sipping excellent cocktails - a Bellini for me and a Sardus G&T for my other half.

We nibble on Sardinian bread - a kind of crispy salted flatbread that is accompanied by a powerful sundried tomato dip and a sensational spicy Pecorino cheese, £5.50. We drink a fresh, lively white Santesu Isola Dei Nuraghi, £23.75 a bottle.

I start with a trio of bruschette, £9.50, that includes traditional tomato and basil and broad beans with pecorino and mint, lovely flavours which immediately transport you to the Sardinian sunshine.

The influence of Spain is to be found in sardines, £8.50, from the specials menu and fresh mussels and clams, £8.95, in a rich tomato sauce (well Sardinia has been invaded by the Spanish, Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, and French who have all inspired the cuisine).

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There’s a speciality pasta on the menu, Culungionies All’ Ogliastrina, £9.95, which is a traditional hand-made pasta filled with potatoes and fresh mint and served in a bowl of bright tomato sauce, clearly designed to fuel the workers tending the land because I couldn’t finish it - although the delicately crisp side of fried courgette, £3.95, might have been to blame.

Grilled mixed fish, £22.50, is all about rustic simplicity but roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary, £3.25, make it a hearty dish suited to the winter. For those who want a real taste of the Sardinian countryside this Christmas, there’s slow roasted suckling pig that can be pre-ordered for a minimum of six people.

For dessert, we enjoyed a delicate pear and ricotta cheesecake and a fabulous home-made tiramisu.

By the time we left, the restaurant was packed and Salvatore was making sure diners were being looked after. It was the kind of bustling, energetic, delicious smelling place you’d hope to discover on holiday but we found it on the doorstep!

Sardus Cucina, 14-16 Ashley Road, Altrincham, WA14 2DW 0161 927 9001

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