Adding some much-needed charm to the drab stretch between Old Street station and Clerkenwell is Officina 00, a trendy, Italian-inspired spot serving some damn fine pasta. While the interior oozes Shoreditch cool (exposed metal pipework, exposed filament bulb lighting and on-trend emerald-green tiles), the vibe at Officina 00 is warm and inviting, thanks to both the friendly staff and the billows of fragrant steam wafting from the open kitchen.
Fresh hand-cut pasta takes the lead here, but be aware that portions aren’t huge. You’d be wise to order one dish per person and then a few extras to share. Wiser still, order the corzetti (small, disc-shaped dough) with wild mushrooms and fennel sausage. Bouncy pasta, earthy funghi and morsels of salty, aniseed-laced pork sausage came swirled in a silky parsley sauce. Yes, please!
Then there was the pappardelle in slow-cooked tomato ragù, topped with juicy polpettine (mini meatballs) and shreds of fresh, pillowy burrata. This is another dish to wolf down before anyone else gets their fork near it.
Just be sure to save room for the profiteroles, though. Two voluptuous, light and utterly indulgent choux puffs – one a zingy lemon, the other dark chocolate – came served as a pair and, good Lord, they were a dream team.
The only thing not worth returning for was the truffle-and-walnut-butter farfalle. Though topped with a generous amount of truffle shavings, the dish tasted only of butter, nuts and a crack of pepper. And while that’s not unpleasant, for the wallet-busting £18 price tag, I want the flavour of truffle to slap me in the face. Hard.
Truffle niggles aside, Officina 00 is a buzzy, welcoming spot for some classy carb-loading. Just pick your pasta companions shrewdly – there’ll be a lot of last mouthfuls to fight over, especially of that corzetti.