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Emilia’s Crafted Pasta

Restaurants, Italian St Katharine Docks
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Dockside Italian where pasta takes centre stage.

Pasta: the word hardly inspires excitement, does it? Perhaps it’s the humble roots of this Italian staple, as a cheap belly-filler for peasants, that have relegated it to wallflower status on so many menus. Bucking the trend is Emilia’s Crafted Pasta, a new restaurant in St Katharine Docks where the business of pasta is taken very seriously indeed. They make it fresh each morning and have neat little illustrations of each kind – rigatoni, farfalle and bucatini among them – on the menu.

Said menu is small, and bravely so: three antipasti, two sides and seven pasta mains. There’s nothing on it that you haven’t seen before. We chose the casarecce with walnuts and mushrooms, and lamb ravioli. Along they came – then promptly vanished. Food this good doesn’t stay on the plate for long.

With Emilia’s, you’re reminded that, when made with care, the simplest of Italian dishes can be nothing short of exquisite. Take the ravioli’s sage-and-butter sauce: two ingredients that come together to make something pornographically moreish. The pasta itself was chewily al dente, the sauces perfectly mopped up with a snappy side of green beans in pesto. It’s all served so unpretentiously that you’d be forgiven for thinking it had come straight from nonna’s hob.

Desserts – lemon and polenta cake, amaretti and cantuccini biscuits – ended things on a sugary high. The staff were charming, and paired our food with a sweet, delicious bottle of primitivo. The place is cosy (although, a quick plea to the management: ditch the chart music, guys – Sean Paul does not a homely atmosphere make). And, crucially, with prices south of a tenner, you feel like you’re paying what you should for pasta. Although, with that sage-and-butter sauce in mind, I’d happily pay more.

By: Matt Breen



Address: Unit C3 Ivory House, St Katharine Docks
Transport: Tube: Tower Hill
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £60.
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Users say (7)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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This cute restaurant overlooking St Katherine’s Docks takes passion for pasta to the next level.

Close your eyes, savour the flavours and let your thoughts drift to the Italian coast. Or open them for a few minutes and look over the docks. After all, this scenic view is not bad at all. In any case, dinner at Emilia’s comes with the holiday vibe guaranteed.

Showing some true passion for pasta, you can expect every dish, pasta and sauce included, at Emilia's to be prepared from scratch at the venue. You can even find a handy, ‘pasta geeky’, explanation of the art of crafting the perfect dish. Browsing the menu, we learn that in order to extract the best flavour, one needs to cook the pasta with the right amount of salt in boiling water, creating space for it until it is ‘al dente’ (not too hard, not too soft, just right). Then the next trick involves matching pasta to sauce. We discover that a twisted shape (like that of casarecce) goes best with pesto, while pappardelle are best suited to meat-based sauces. Last but not least, ravioli’s better half is a simple light butter sauce. Having graduated Pasta 101 you are now ready to sample the delicious offerings on the menu. But be warned, making a choice will be a challenge!

If you’re feeling in the mood for something tasty but simple, go for the homemade tomato sauce with freshly chopped basil and mozzarella or the creamy walnut sauce with chestnuts mushrooms. Feeling like some heartier? The smoked salmon carbonara with pecorino and beaten eggs will melt in your mouth. And the list goes on, but the exploration is well worth it!

While it may be slightly frowned upon not to order pasta at this Italian haven, I have to admit that the burrata salad with heritage tomatoes and freshly chopped herbs is absolutely delicious and well worth a try if you fancy something slightly lighter.

Still have room for dessert? The timeless affogato (espresso and vanilla ice cream) is always a good pick, but if you feel like something new, I’d definitely recommend the vanilla ice cream with honey, crushed amaretti and biscuits. The perfect end to a perfect dinner.

As a family, we have visited Emilia's on several occasions and are never disappointed. The menu has something for everyone- our favourite is the Béchamel Bolognese! The food is always fresh, flavoursome and well presented and the staff are friendly and attentive. Dine outside and take in the quaint surroundings of St Katherine Docks, and be sure to finish with a delicious salted caramel brownie!

If you know about Italian food you'll know genuine food when you see it. From the best burrata I've had straight from Puglia, to creative but traditional pasta dishes made freshly that very day. Hard to find all that in one place at their prices. Amazing food, service and atmosphere. 

Stay away from this place...reasonably priced but the food is well below what you would expect from the location. Tourist trap


My favourite discovery of the month! After drinks at the Dickens Inn a couple of steps away, we decided to discover a local restaurant and ended up spending the night at Emilia's. Incredible fresh pasta, incredible dessert and a lovely staff that found us a table on the terrace next to the harbour. All that for about a tenner, highly recommended!

Poor quality food, service even worse. How this place even has a four star review by timeout amazes me. Food took 45 minutes to serve and was tasteless. Good things do not come to people that wait, well in this case.

 I love Emilia's! The food is exquisite, the staff always goes the extra mile, and the atmosphere just makes you want to stay there for hours. They have a great selection of appetisers for those wanting to spice up their mains. Make sure to try their parmesan balls and the Borrata cheese. The place is a great a value for money, and will keep you coming back for more. 

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