Think abundant foliage, charismatic waiters with a twinkle in their eye and of course, winning tiramisu, and you’ve got Gloria in one.
This seductively cosy Italian joint in the heart of Shoreditch, owned by the France-based Italian Big Mamma restaurant group, has accrued a band of loyal followers and it’s easy to see why.
The 70’s Capri-style trattoria is run by an 85-strong team from Italy.
I popped into the restaurant on a Friday night and there was a bustling atmosphere, with diners in full swing and a golden light casting a magic glow.
We took a pew in one of the central booth-style seats, which allowed ample room for two.
On sitting down, I instantly felt in a perky mood given the convivial surroundings.
One of the friendly waiters offered me a drink and after perusing the menu, I settled with my standard vodka olive martini with the house vodka being from the East London Liquor Company.
If you’re feeling adventurous on the drinks front, concoctions such as the Colada Me Later (a blend of Appleton Estate signature blend, Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum, pineapple, mango, popcorn syrup, coconut-almond milk and lime) or Negronly You (a blend of Bulldog gin, Cinzano 1757 red, Campari Bitter, figs and Amaro Montenegro) might tickle your fancy.
When it comes to the food, there is a great spread of things to choose from at Gloria.
If you like Italian food, then you will be in heaven, with everything from pizza to prosecco to satisfy your cravings.
To start, there is even a burrata menu, with three variations on a theme.
We opted for the La Burrata Classica, which consists of a 250g ball of burrata from Puglia served with Gloria’s ‘special Tuscan olive oil’.
Adding to the whimsy of the place, the dishes are serves on colourful Italian majolica crockery, which transports you to a sun-kissed world away from the city.
For mains, I went for the Vegan Delight (a medley of chickpea cream, roasted beetroot, chargrilled portobello mushrooms, hazelnuts, cucumber and tenderstem broccoli) while my companion opted for Gloria’s Pasta Al Tartufo, consisting of ribbon-shaped pasta mixed with a black Molise truffle, mascarpone and button mushroom sauce.
. The salad, like the burrata, was enormous with all of the ingredients blending well.
Mine was saucier than I’d imagined with the chickpea cream at the centre of things but it was perfect for dunking the deliciously fluffy bread in.
We’d ordered a bread basket from the get-go, with a moreish selection of fresh baked goods put before us.
To finish, we couldn’t leave without trying Gloria’s Il Tigramisu.
Like martinis being my test of a good bar, tiramisu is my gauge of a good Italian.
Gloria’s rendition comes served in a dinky dish, with fluffy pillows of mascarpone layered upon light sponge.
We washed the sweet dish down with some Limencello, with the sunny tipple organic and certified from the Amalfi Coast.
It’s easy to get lost in the magic of Gloria.
It definitely promises to kick your night off with a good dose of Italian flare.
Viva la Big Mamma!
Gloria is located at 54-56 Great Eastern St, Hackney, London, EC2A 3QR
To book a table visit www.bigmammagroup.com