I Had Dinner At Gloria And Didn't Order The Famous Meringue (And It Was Still Great)

You've shown it to your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your best friends and if you're close enough, your mum and your dad. You've been shocked at just how big that dessert is, and wonder if you'll ever snatch up a table given that most are only free at 3pm, and you kind of have to go to work.

Yep, it's Gloria

An unmissable frontage of foliage on Great Eastern Street, Gloria isn't the best plant shop in Shoreditch, it's a celebration of Italian cuisine on a level that Lake Como would be proud of. With restaurants in Lyon, Lille and Monaco, Big Mamma is a restaurant group that has dominance in hearts, minds and bellies, with their East London site equally famed for its Capri-style interiors and a menu curated using products directly from small Italian producers. 

gloria london interiors review

Gloria is here to remind you that your holiday to Italy is long overdue. 

Our arrival is passionate from the off, with the staff keen to seat and the venue keen to impress. Booths are flanked with rattan and cosy striped and piped textures, with panelled walls framing a collection of pretty plates, overall creating an atmosphere that most restaurants dare to dream of.

With good news as of late, we started with a glass of Champagne and all the cheese. Our starters a party of pesto-drizzled burrata (£13), mushroom bruschetta, an olive trinity (£5) and foccacia to make any Italian mamma proud. All were rich, decadent and putting pedal to the metal in the flavour department.

What you don't know about me is that have taken it upon myself to complete the one-woman mission that is eating my way through all of London's cacio e pepe, meaning Gloria wasn't getting off lightly. Using almost hair-like spaghetti with the classic blend of cheese, pepper and butter (£14), Gloria added zing with a subtle nod of lemon zest, putting itself in second on my list of places to get the dish in the city. First? A spot in Brixton that you'll have to pry from me. 

gloria london merinque review

I'm just more in the business of burrata is all. 

Like all good journalists, I ignored the encouragement to try their most famous dish and avoided the mountainous meringue that is taking up real estate on Instagram. Why? I'll be honest, I'm just not a dessert person. Yep, we exist. I'd be doing dishonesty to the brand by ordering, to only have a spoonful. Instead? A round of limoncello and watching the tables dotted around us following the journey of their meringue from waiter to table with wide-eyed joy. It's a huge hit, and you don't need me to tell you that. 

The DesignMyNight Digest

It's pretty easy to get swept up in TikTok hype these days (the 12 serums in my bathroom prove it), but Gloria is deserving of its buzz. And while I didn't take down the meringue, I did take notes on all dishes I'll be trying next time I visit as a good pasta restaurant never leaves your side. 

  💰 The damage: £140 for 2 (2 courses, Champagne and cocktails).

  📍  The location: 54-56 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3QR.

  👌 Perfect for: That especially special birthday dinner you've been holding out on.

 ⭐ Need to know: The meringue is famous, but the limoncello is just as good a dessert.


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