Sometimes, there’s nothing for it but pasta. There’s something supremely satisfying about good pasta – and when I say satisfying, I don’t mean being so full that you need to roll out of the restaurant. That, to me, is the sign of bad pasta – when the portion size hasn’t been controlled and I can’t remember how good the food was because I’m too busy bemoaning my pasta food-baby.
Padella on Borough High Street opened recently and has been on every food blog and instagram worth following, so I thought it was about time I checked it out. And it’s very handy being only a 10 minute walk from my office. As a Friday treat, myself and a colleague ventured to find this hallowed pasta hall.
Be prepared for a queue. As is always the way with this area of London, it’s packed with tourists as well as city folk, and you can’t book a table at Padella. It’s not a very long wait though, and they only seat you if your whole party is present. The restaurant looks tiny from the outside, but actually there’s a secret stairway at the back leading to a more spacious and surprisingly lofty, bright basement restaurant with double the number of covers visible from the street.
Burrata with Puglian olive oil and bruschetta with baked borlotti beans and salsa rossa
It’s a simple menu in the sense that you can choose from a selection of starter dishes and/or a selection of pasta. The pasta dishes change frequently, but no doubt some of the staple menu items such as pappardelle with beef shin ragu will always be available.
Tagliarini with slow-cooked tomato sauce
My colleague, the burrata-addict, predictably picked the burrata which she lauded as being very good, teamed with a bruschetta with baked borlotti beans and salsa rossa which was the stand out choice for her. But I couldn’t possibly come to a pasta restaurant and not have pasta! And, lo and behold, my absolute favourite pasta dish was on the menu. When it comes to pasta, I really do think simple is best, and, when done well, you can’t beat a good tagliarini with slow-cooked tomato sauce. I ate countless spaghetti pomodoro dishes whilst in Italy last year and adored every single one, and this was no exception. The tomato sauce was fresh and rich yet light, and the pasta was delicate and not in the least bit stodgy. Buonissimo.