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Emilia’s Crafted Pasta

Restaurants, Italian Tower Bridge
4 out of 5 stars

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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