You can’t miss Dilly Dally. The restaurant’s bold palette of orange and black makes it one of Rokeby Road’s more conspicuous residents. But while the exterior has a certain shock-factor to it, what’s inside feels instantly familiar and precisely the sort of thing one might want from a neighbourhood venue.
The space is sectioned off into little nooks and populated tables and chairs, loveseats and lounges, benches and stools. The floorboards are worn in a homely kind of way and the walls are painted in various shades of terracotta.
While it’d be unkind to pigeonhole the menu as “pub grub”, there’s no doubting chef Peter Hajdu (Bread in Common, Gordon Street Garage) has written his menu with comfort and familiarity in mind. There are some pork and veal meatballs with sugo. There’s an assembly of beetroot and smoked goat’s curd. Solo diners have options aplenty: grilled flatbreads cradling fillings including roasted mushrooms and taleggio, or prosciutto and olive tapenade make fine sandwiches for one, while the juicy Hamlet Pork cotoletta is crisp and juicy in all the right places. Crunchy, high-walled pizzas chime with the Italianate comfort theme.
Jeremy Prus, a partner at Lalla Rookh and the sommelier’s sommelier, has written a likeable wine list that’s big on user-friendliness (house wines from La Prova give change out of a tenner) while ensuring grape nerds have stuff to get excited about (bottlings from the Loire Valley, the Jura, Sicily and other of-the-moment wine regions).