A chic pasta bar just moments from the Borough Market bustle.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you love pasta, but never order it in restaurants because it’s something ‘you can just make at home’.
But unless you own a pasta machine – correction, unless you own and use a pasta machine, rather than leave it in the back of a cupboard like a small-scale instrument of torture that enjoys intimidating your other kitchen gadgets – then what you’re scoffing in front of ‘Gogglebox’ is a world away from what you’ll find at Padella, a sleek new pasta bar from the duo behind Islington’s Trullo.
Dishes are small enough – and, at around £5-9, cheap enough – to let you to order three between two. Do this. In fact, bring extra friends so you can order a bit of everything. Who cares if you’ll likely be sat in a row? Talking is so overrated. There’s a changing mix of classics and lesser-spotted varieties such as tagliarini (skinny tagliatelle) or pici cacio, a kind of hand-rolled no-egg noodle from Siena. Padella’s version was not just chewy and satisfying (a bit like Japanese udon), but came smothered in a simple yet moreish sauce of parmesan, butter and cracked black pepper. Trullo fans will be pleased to see the signature eight-hour beef shin ragu (served over pappardelle) here, although, in one of the Great Ordering Errors of the Year, I didn’t have it. What happened next was painful: a plate of it was briefly placed in front of me, looking and smelling delicious, only to be cruelly whisked away and delivered to its rightful owner. Like I said, bring more friends.
Not every dish is seasoned perfectly, but I couldn’t fault the sublime flavour of a smoked eel and cream tagliatelle with just a hint of Sicilian lemon. Starters and puds are simple but satisfying: think creamy burrata or beef carpaccio, both drizzled with fruity, peppery olive oil; or sweet crumbly tarts (the chocolate is especially good). But really, Padella is a place to eat pasta.
And then, abruptly, it’s all over. Three courses came without pause, then the cardinal sin was committed: an unasked-for bill arrived. Time from entering to leaving? 75 minutes. For three courses, that’s unpleasantly fast. If staff can just ease up on treating customers like fennel-studded sausages, Padella could be brilliant for dinner. For now, it’ll do nicely for a classy express lunch.
6 Southwark St
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:23
- 4 star:16
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Simply the best! And if you liked it but don't want to queue --> Trullo in Highbury and Islington! My two favourite places for an unusual date night in London - Cheap and delicious!
If you’ve been to Borough Market, you’ll have noticed Padella. It’s been on my to-visit list for a while now, but I’ve never had the excuse to brave the queues. Today was my opportunity: my Dad was passing through London and we were meeting for lunch. The night before I feverishly did my research, and knew pretty much what was popular, and I can honestly say I had never been more excited to go to a restaurant before.
I wasn’t disappointed: we got great food, for (in London) incredible prices, with fast, friendly service, in a nice location. Even as a poor student, I can’t wait to go back again!
Time of Visit: I queued from 12:00, we were seated by around
Order: Sourdour bread, Olives (which were massive, and very green!), Wiltshire Burrata (which is a kind of cold, squishy cheese. It was lovely with the bread, but I have absolutely nothing to compare it to). Stracci with sweet onions, pici cacio (both of which were wonderful). We shared each dish between us, which I think is the way to go, and both left feeling pretty full (but were able to squeeze in a brownie from Borough Market).
Total cost: around £25
How am I this late to the Padella game? Be warned I waited almost over an hour with about a 10-minute wait in the queue to sign myself up for the list. Was a little worried at the obstacles encountered to get myself through the door. Anyway after a very long wait I was finally sent a text to say my table is ready! Horrah. We were sat downstairs and choose really quickly from the simple menu that was provided.
Padella Sourdough bread & Puglian Olive oil
Burrata with Puglian olive oil
Taglierini with slow cooked tomato sauce
Taglierini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon
Although EVERYTHING was really delicious, my favourite was the Burrata. Absolutely amazing food & service for the price it is. I was super surprised at how fresh and well flavored everything was. Padella sets the bar so high for the Italian little spots around London. Will be returning really very soon!
Sweet Mary, Jesus and Joseph. I struggle to find the words to describe this place as the pasta was possibly the best I've ever tasted and I go to Italy on the regular. Yes we had to wait for two hours for a table and I was potentially a little drunk by the time we got a table but that's beside the point. If you're judging this place on what it's like when you actually get a table, it is perfect. We had the burrata with olive oil to start and I swear I orgasmed. The combination of the creamy cheese with the rich olive oil and a good sprinkle of pepper was perfection. We had the pici di peppe which was a thick version of linguine with this insane sauce made from butter, parmesan and pepper. I can't even describe how good this was. We also had the carbonara which was absolute heaven. It had so much flavour, the handmade pasta was aldente and it wasn't that creamy bullshit you get at most restaurants. The service was also so great, the staff were really friendly and knowledgable. If you love pasta like me, you need to try this place. It's worth the wait!
NOT a FAMILY FREINDLY RESTAURANT
Before we queued we told the tall bald waiter that we have a child and needed the tables in the basement. However after 45 mins of queuing with a now very hungry little toddler, we were told we have to wait another 45 mins because they just filled up the tables in the basement. When we complaint about this- we were asked to leave the queue by waiter. When we complained to the manager- she was siding the waiter and asked us to leave the restaurant
Lovely pasta- BUT IF COMING WITH LITTLE CHILDREN - AVOID PADELLA
Always wanted to try padella but was put off by the long queue. I am so glad I finally decided to make the effort and gave it a go! It was worth it! the queuing system allows you to put your name on the waiting list and you are then texted when your table becomes available. Best to join the queue before 8pm as the waiting list is likely close then. Food is delicious and probably the best value for money I have experienced in London. Portions are not very big so between the two of us we shared some bread and salame as a starter and then three pasta dishes. Try the gnocchi butter & sage, the pappardelle al ragu', and the linguini with chili and crab. I can't wait to be back!
Why would anyone give this place any less than a five? The queue perhaps, but so worth it. The pici cacio and pepe is of course the star of the show and understandably! Amazing. Honestly. So nice and chewy and the sauce is so cheesy and creamy. In love with this pasta. Second favourite would probably be the pappardelle with beef - very soft beef that goes lovely with these tiny pasta sheets. Both chocolate and pear tarts are also very good. I have nothing but good things to say about this restaurant except please expand. Also prices that won't break the bank?! Again, amazing.
Perhaps I came with too high of an expectation, but the pasta here just didn't wow me. It's good, but not mindblowingly good.
Pros: The freshly made eggy pasta, very reasonable price (from £8-12), good portions, friendly staff, right next to the buzzling Borough market. The best dish imo was the ragu - homey and filling.
Cons: SAUCE! It's just not bold enough (pun intended). The cacio e pepe was sour (too much lemon juice) and the garlic crab linguini was just not garlicky enough.
Will I come back again? Possibly, if the line is not crazy and I need a quick / cheap bite on my next trip to Borough market.
Put simply, it's the most fun I've had at dinner in as long as I can remember. Amazing food. Great service. Reasonable prices.... wish I was there right now.
Efficient service BUT the veggie option was actually super oily. Still not bad and they have good salted caramel ice-cream and an outdoor seating area.
This was frankly bloody delicious, although – as Tania says – a little rushy. We tried literally all the pasta and there wasn't a dud among them. Stand-out was the spicy nduja sausage tagliatelle, although even the most simple dishes managed to transcend their basic components. Desserts are brill, too, and service friendly as you like. For similarly excellent food at a gentler pace, definitely try Trullo in Highbury.
I have very little hesitation in recommending this place, it is such a scrummy spot for a light lunch or a casual dinner. The pasta is all housemade on the day. Padella offers eight main dishes, ranging from a simple vegetarian tagliarini to their signature pappardelle. I couldn’t resist the latter, and it’s easy to see why it’s their most popular dish! The hand rolled and effortlessly aldente pappardelle is mixed with the most palatable eight hour Dexter shin beef ragu. The slow cooked, melt-in-your-mouth beef is seasoned to perfection, blended with an intense garlicky tomato sauce and topped with a very generous shaving of parmesan. The forming queue outside as I left was a testament that this little place is gaining esteem and will undoubtedly live up to Trullo’s impeccable repute. With such an abundance of buzzy pizzas places in London, it’s about time we are able to show off an authentic, affordable and delicious pasta bar.
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