I love pasta, it’s definitely one of my favorite comfort foods, so when I heard there was a new, trendy, Italian Bistro at Borough Market I had to check it out. Padella did not disappoint. There’s no reservations (we’re used to this now with Burger and Lobster, Flat Iron, Barrafina, Meat Liquor, Franco Manco etc) so at about 7.30pm on a Tuesday we had to queue and wait 15 mins but I can live with that and it was well worth it.
We sat at the front on stools looking out onto passers by on Southwark St and with the evening sun being out it gave a nice kind of authentic Italian/Spanish Tapas feel to the place. I was slightly sceptical of the wine being ‘on tap’ but after trying both the Merlot (Vini Stocco, Friuli 2014 and only £3 a glass!) and the Nero D’Avola, Marchesi de Raja, Sicily 2014 both turned out to be very non-offensive, easy drinking and medium bodied which is perfect for the food choices we made.
We started with the creamy Burrata with Puglian Olive Oil which was so soft and full of flavour, the Bruschetta with baked borlotti beans was also great.
For mains we chose 3 pasta dishes between 2 and shared which ended up being a good choice. The dishes aren’t huge but 3 between 2 with a starter or 2 will definitely fill you up. Plus they are very reasonable at generally £6-9 a dish!
We had the Ravioli of ricotta with sage butter which was fantastic. The pasta was so authentic and well made and tasted superb that we could have been in Rome. A simple dish but the ricotta and parmesan just spoke for themselves. We also had the delicious Pappardelle with 8 hour slow cooked Dexter beef shin ragu. This was incredible. The beef was shredded and had a fantastic amalgamated flavour having been cooked for so long in the tomato ragu.
Finally we had the awesome Pici cacio e pepe which is so wonderfully creamy with a peppery kick. Not too much, just right. The main ingredients are just butter, cracked black pepper, Pecorino and Grana Padano or Parmesan. So simple and the Italian’s answer to ‘mac and cheese’!
The whole experience was great. Perfect for a quick lunch if you work in the area, a light dinner or a date. The guys at Padella (Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda, who started Trullo in Islington) do a few dishes but they do them outstandingly well. The ingredients and pro-pasta making skills speak for themselves. The Italian way. I’ll be coming back soon for sure!