Padella

Restaurants, Italian South Bank
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(44user reviews)
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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.

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Padella
Contact:
Address: 6 Southwark St
London
SE1 1TQ
Transport: Tube: London Bridge
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:22
  • 4 star:16
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|44
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1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

If you want something cheap, cheerful and satisfying, Padella is the way to go. It’s simple and perfect for when you need that warm Italian hug from Nonna, thus guaranteed that you’ll leave with a smile on your face.


What I had:

Entrees

  • Padella sourdough bread & Puglian olive oil 
  • Castelvetrano green olives 
  • Burrata with Puglian olive oil
  • Salame “Lovison”

Mains

  • Pici cacio & pepe
  • Spinach Ravioli of Neal’s Yard goats curd with marjoram butter
  • Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu 
  • Tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon

Dessert

  • Chocolate tart
  • Pear & almond tart 
  • Salted Caramel Ice cream


When a pasta joint can nail the Cacio & Pepe, it’s definitely worth going back for that alone. This dish and the Pappardelle with the beef shin ragu are the star favourites - the pasta was perfectly al-dente and both were rich without being too heavy. I was a little disappointed with the crab tagliarini and the ravioli as the pasta, I felt, was slightly over done and in contrast to the other two pasta dishes, just didn’t have the same wow factor. The desserts were all on point and not too sweet (the chocolate tart is more like a dark chocolate) and a nice way to end the meal and satisfy that sweet tooth.


Tip: They don’t take bookings and are very busy therefore they won’t seat you until your whole party is present so make sure that you get there early to beat the long queues. Try the Cacio & Pepe and Beef Shin Pappardelle - it’s simply delicious and dangerously moreish. The portions aren’t huge so you can (gleefully) try more than one pasta dish per person. They also have good wine on tap (yay!) and a larger seating area downstairs.


Good For: small groups, relaxed dates, catchups with friends, casual lunch/dinners, something quick

tastemaker

I have walked passed this restaurant numerous times, put-off by the long queue, always wondered, "how good can this pasta really be?" The answer, VERY! I am an easily excitable guy, but my lovely wife balances me out by being fairly critical. After taking the first bite of our pastas from Padella, we both sang in unison - This is the best pasta I have ever had (in Italy and outside). Enough said.

Tastemaker

Delicious pasta with a very reasonable price tag. My friend and I shared the pici a pepe (good), the papardelle with ventricina (delicious), and the tagliarini with exmouth mussels, parsley and lemon (divine). We also had the burrata with bread to start, which was incredible. We queued for an hour to get in for lunch on a Monday, which I did think was a bit excessive, but I'd probably do it again if I had the time. Our total bill came to £36 between us, which I thought was very reasonable for the quality of food that was served. Another hit amongst the many good restaurants now in this part of London!

tastemaker

Worth the hype in every way. Head down to put your name on the list before hitting one of the local bar for a few drinks, they'll give you a ring when you're table is ready. If you're just two you might get a table at the bar where you can watch the masters at work creating the fresh pasta. The cacio e pepe was my personal fave but all of the dishes we tried were brilliant. Wash it all down with some red wine or a Negroni or two. The best pasta I've ever eaten in London. Go, NOW. 

tastemaker

Better late than never, I finally got to try Padella! 2 weeks ago, some friends and I decided to grab a quick early dinner before attending an event together. As it was in the area, we opted to try our luck at Padella, knowing there'd be a queue (as always!). 


We were there at 5pm and a queue had already formed but luckily, we were among the lucky few to get seated in the first round of their dinner service. Between the three of us, we shared the following: 


1. Pici Cacio e Pepe - a simple Italian dish with a slightly thicker pasta than spaghetti covered in a creamy, Parmesan sauce with freshly cracked black pepper. This was my favourite of the four we tried because of how simple and satisfying it was, truly a form of comfort food for me!


2. Pappardelle w/ Ragu - this was a classic combination and another comfort food dish for me. Nothing beats a simple, homemade meat sauce and fresh pasta.


3. Tagliarini w/ Crab - to vary our dishes, we opted for a seafood option. This was really light and fresh, with the lemon, the herbs, and the crab, which was very generous. Again, I enjoyed how simple and packed with flavour it was! 


4. Special of the day - for our last order, we had the special of the day that Monday, which was pasta with artichokes, lemon, and cheese. Another fresh and simple combination of flavours but my least favourite of the four we tried.


5. Chocolate Tart - to end our meal, we shared a slice of their homemade dark chocolate tart. This was divine and my first choice, as I saw a waitress carrying the entire tart out as we were having our mains. It was rich but not overly dense, the sweetness was just nice, which balanced well with the bitterness of the dark chocolate, and the tart wasn't too crumbly. 


Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I will most definitely be back! It lives up to the hype and the food is worth waiting in queue for! I have not tasted fresh pasta like this anywhere else in London, and I love how simple and fresh everything is. It really reminds me of my time in Italy!


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!

tastemaker

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 12:40 (Friday).
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

tastemaker

Padella - loosely translated as ‘pasta paradise’. This infamous long queue, Italian gluten serving eating house is well worth the wait. For a table of 3 at lunch time we queued for just under an hour, by which time we had built enough appetite to order 4 mains to share between us (and could have had more...). The stars of the show were the beef shin ragu pappardelle, chicken liver tagliatelle and the signature pici e pepe. The trick here is to go with your friends and convince them to share with you so you can try a bit of everything...

P.s. I was kidding about the translation but trust me: if you like pasta, you will love padella.

tastemaker

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.

We ordered:

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! 

tastemaker

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

Tastemaker

Third time lucky, they say. Mid week late lunchtime seems to be the best timing to get a space without queuing for 90 minutes at this hyped (and rightly so) pasta place.


It’s a small space, with only one or two proper tables and the rest of the guests are seated around the open kitchen bar or at the window bench. I love watching chefs at work so the high chair at the bar was a perfect spot to build the anticipation. All the pastas are freshly home-made and take only few minutes to cook, so you don't wait long for your food. The dishes are simple and the portions aren't huge, but if you get a starter (try their burrata!) or a dessert, that will be sufficient.


I’ve tried Pici (pasta I’ve never heard of that reminded me of udon) with marjoram, lemon and garlic. It didn’t mention the cheese which was the main ingredient of the sauce the pasta was dipped in and I loved it, although could be more garlicky for my liking. The Ravioli with goat’s curd and marjoram butter my sister ordered was excellent too. Padella’s food is great value for money, and their alcohol list is equally well priced.


Their almost all Italian staff was super friendly and extremely efficient.


Padella you won my heart I’m ready to queue next time!

tastemaker

Beautiful food, super quick service, and didn't have to queue for more than 5 minutes (this was at 1pm on a Saturday). Go all out while you're here, it'll be well worth the feeling of being totally stuffed!

We ordered the beef shin ragu, which does not disappoint and the pici with lemon and garlic, also devine! The chocolate tart was sheer chocoholic bliss too. Well worth the visit. I'd queue far longer for this place as well. 

Tastemaker

Long have I been searching for a UK restaurant that serves Italian food as good as the Italians! Finally I have found it!

Padella, located by London Bridge, is a pasta bar serving an ever changing menu of fresh, homemade pasta dishes, antipasti and delicious Italian wines - all at a very reasonable price.

Unfortunately you can't reserve tables (which is the only reason I haven't been there sooner) as they operate a walk in service only. When it gets busy, which is most of the time, your name is added to a waiting list where you then messaged when a table comes available. Tables do turn over quite quickly, with bar seating both up and downstairs as well as tables for 4-6 people throughout. If you are a couple I highly recommend the bar downstairs as you can watch the pasta being made - a truly impressive site! Staff are fairly friendly however not overly attentive so it took a while to place our orders both for drinks and for food. The food far makes up for the wait with good quality ingredients and delicious flavours throughout. 

Recommendations: Burrata (so creamy, drenched in delicious olive oil and beautifully seasoned) and the pici with marjoram, lemon and garlic. Their wine on tap is also really good value.

I can't wait to come back to try new pasta dishes on their menu along with the chocolate tart (of which we saw 10 plated up and were so gutted we didn't have time or space to try it).


tastemaker

I've worked in London Bridge for ages and always heard great reviews about Padella, so I dragged (not really!) my boyfriend here to try it.

We queued up to add our name to the wait list and headed to The Market Porter for a drink. We were told it would be about 1hr 15 min wait and it ended up being about an hour. We put our name down at 6, so definitely worth getting here early otherwise you may have to wait a long time/ not even get in!

We ordered olives and bread to start which were lovely (olives were massive!) then three pasta dishes for main between the two of us. 1 1/2 is definitely the right amount and we still had a bit of room for pudding. The chocolate tart and gelato were lovely.

I can't say how good the food was and such good value (£40 for three courses each).

Only downside was that the service was a tiny bit slow but the staff were really nice.

Overall an amazing dinner - definitely recommend!

tastemaker

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!

Tastemaker

Loved, Loved, Loved Padella.


I'm no fan of restaurants where you can't book and you have to hope to get in. Padella seem to manage this reasonably well. My friend queued for about 20 mins from 17.50, that got us to the front of the queue and on to the actual waiting list. We then got in about 20 mins after that. 


We had great seats with a kitchen view at the counter. It's a buzzy restaurant with a simple feel. Our waiter was lovely and friendly but not in your face. The menu is unapologetically italian and simple yet sophisticated. I wanted every past dish. I opted for crab and lemon tagliarini and my friend had tagliatelle with nduja and other bits. Food comes pretty quickly. The portions are a neat size perfectly adequate to fill you up but you would be happy with a little more. The dishes were DIVINE. I loved it so much rather than ordering a pudding I had a plate of gnocchi with pumpkin and sage butter, HEAVENLY!.


They do practically all their wines by the Carafe which I think is a good amount for 2 people. The meal - 2 courses and wine came in at £28 each - and it was a bargain. I really cannot wait to go again. It really did live up to the hype and I wish I had gone sooner!


tastemaker

I feel controversial saying this but my experience at Padella was a bit disappointing. I don't know if it's the fact that the hype around this place is so big or the fact that I really wanted the shin ragú and it wasn't on the menu but overall it fell a bit flat for me.


I'll start with the good as the good things about it really were excellent. Despite having to wait for over an hour the hostess was kind and somehow reassuring despite not being able to promise us a table. Once we finally got our table we had a great view of the pasta making and our waiter was super friendly and patient. The prices in this restaurant are also surprisingly affordable and the portions are generous. Me and my two friends shared two starters, had one main each, and shared a dessert for approximately 12-13 quid each. We didn't drink though so if you're a reasonable person do factor this in.


As for the food, the Wiltshire Burrata was delicious. It was like eating cheesy silk and the sour dough bread we ate with it was great too and added a nice crunch to go with the creaminess of the cheese. The pasta is where it fell flat however. Our three dishes, the tagliarini with nettles, egg yolk and parmesan, the ravioli with ricotta and sage, and the pici cacio e pepe were all somewhat under-seasoned. The tagliarini, although interesting and different from anything I had tried before, seriously needed more parmesan, less pepper, and more salt. The ricotta in the ravioli was heavenly but I was left aching for the taste of sage. Finally, the pici were a bit gummy but as I have no prior experience with pici I'm not sure if this is the way pici ought to be so don't take my word on this one.  For dessert we shared a chocolate tart, which was good but nothing to write home about. 


Ultimately it was a good meal and a nice time but it wasn't the transcendental pasta experience I had been set up for. If that's what you're after I recommend Bocca di Lupo instead. That said, if you want good pasta, for a good price, and don't mind queuing for over an hour, this is where it's at. 

tastemaker

For those Italian lovers on the hunt for honest, high quality pasta then Padella is your place. After topping my ‘to go’ list for quite a while I was definitely not disappointed by the dishes of fresh pasta served. Admittedly, actually getting a seat in Padella takes serious commitment. Having arrived at 6pm on a Wednesday we queued for 20 minutes just to be added to the waiting list but an hour later we were texted to say our tables was ready and you can stay for up to an hour and a half. The dishes of the night had to be the beef carpaccio starter and the Pici cacio & pepe but the Tagliarini with Chiarentana olive oil and parmesan wasn't far behind. The great thing about Padella is the price; with the average dish costing around £6-7 you can order a few between you which means no pasta envy! The restaurant also offers a £10 corkage so you’re more than welcome to bring your own wine making for a delicious but cheap evening. 

Tastemaker

Cacio e Pepe. I remember I was recommended one dish by an Italian friend when I first visited Rome and I was baffled that the best dish he could recommend was pasta with cheese and black pepper. Oh boy I was wrong. It was so simple and delicious that made me realise and appreciate black pepper. So when I first found out about Padella to serve this pasta I was hyped. I know the queues can be ridiculous here and pasta is something you can easily whip up at home but their Cacio e Pepe is probably the best pasta I've had in London so far. I don't know what kind of magic they do with that there. I think the other pastas on their menu are decent as well but Cacio e Pepe is a must!


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.

tastemaker

After seeing enough food porn on Instagram regarding this restaurant and the lengthy queues I knew I had to finally live this truth!!!

Man oh man was it worth it!!! Let's start with the fact that everything is pretty reasonably priced..very reasonably priced and the flavours were just fantastic ... Without a doubt the Pici cacio is their star dish and I recommend it with every breath in me!!!!!

You won't regret it! I've been over there 3 times now and every time its like the first !!

tastemaker

Given the long wait it may not live up to excellent standards you may expect, but the authentic experience of fresh pasta is a must. Sit at the bar and witness how the fresh ingredients of your pasta dish is prepared. The pasta itself is pretty good. 


Spinach ravioli + the pici cacio & Pepe were excellent though the pasta with tomato sauce and olive oil could use a bit more tomato. Very disappointing homemade salted caramel ice cream, only recommend it if you want a major sugar rush.
tastemaker

I am giving it 5 stars as it delivers exactly what you expect from it - great pasta! I went there a few days after the opening so I was really lucky to get in without waiting in a long queue. Fresh, tasty and well cooked pasta dishes and a nice environment as well. Will go back, even if that means having to queue :-)

Tastemaker

A truly delicious pasta place for pasta-lovers!


I cannot begin to describe how amazing those fresh hand-made pasta are. Walking to work at 8am in the morning, I can see staff through the window, patiently and meticulously making the dough. And that’s why the dishes there are so full of flavour.


However, past the pasta dishes, the rest of the menu lets the place down a little. Side salad was very bland and dessert selection a bit poor. As for the décor – very minimalistic.


All in all, a must-go for pasta-addicts. But maybe a bit disappointing for others.

tastemaker

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. 

Tastemaker

After seing PADELLA mentioned innumerably in so many places all around internet it was about time. If you've read something about PADELLA it's its long queue. I went for dinner time, it opens at 5pm for dinner, arrived at 4:50 and there was already a line! Luckily as soon as it opened I got seated. I ordered the sourdough bread with olive oil which was quite pleasurable, you could really taste the homemade in it.

For main I ordered two plates, the tagliatelle with beef shin ragu and the goat cheese ravioli with butter, to have the best of both worlds and compare and contrast. Surprisingly both plates came at the same time! Portions are not big so don't be afraid to order two mains. The beef shin ragu was savory, bold and very tender, but lacked flavour. The goat cheese ravioli were al dente and the goat cheese was succulent, not too strong not to soft in flavour, but the butter sauce lacked body and flavour. The service was really quick and the waiter was polite and kind and of course italian. You can really see and taste it is just made and the pasta is fresh and made daily, which makes it stand out from other places.

At last, dessert, there is always some room for dessert. I ordered the lead and almond tart, which came with some mascarpone cream. It didn't look quite tasty but once I tried it, it had so many delicate flavours and textures, it was simply delicious. The sweetness of the almond in the dough perfectly fits with the subtle acidity of the pieces of pear. Perfect mix of textures and flavours. Overall, I was satisfied and enjoyed it, although there is always room for improvement, It is definitely worth the queue, promise.

Tastemaker

There's plates of pasta, and then there's PADELLA plates of pasta. No other dish has been more IG'd i think this year than the cacio e pepe from Padella, and I finally made an effort to get here.

Firstly, unless you arrive about 15 minutes before opening time, DO NOT EVEN BOTHER. They do not fill the restaurant when it opens so that the kitchen doesn't overload, and as such, despite me being about 10th in line and with plenty of seating available, I didn't get in till about 12.20. I felt sorry for the guys who came even just a few minutes after me, as once the restaurant is full (around 12.40 or so, and even then not 100%), people didn't even leave their table till 1pm or so.

In short, unless you're one of the early guys to get in there first, you're not getting in for a LONG time.

But the food? Yes this is some seriously great and tasty pasta. Freshly made, insanely tasty, and a decent price for the quality you get. But why only 5 stars? Because I think there is better pasta available in London, for about the same price for a whole dish (instead of having to order 2 plates to fill you up).

The cacio e pepe was peppery goodness with cheese and just so good, and the 8 hour ragu was intense, rich and oh so moreish. But actually, I find the pasta itself to be lacking a bit here in flavour and texture.

In short, I would definitely pop in again for the food here to try other dishes especially, but it's not the best pasta you can get in London!


Fast. Easy. Fresh. Friendly. Cheap. Nice. Clean. Professional. A great place. APPLAUSE.:)


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.

Tastemaker

Really good pasta, and also very well priced. You will likely have to queue but the queue moved quickly - there were 15 people in front of us and we got a table within 20 mins. Though I would not recommend for a large group. 


The decor is fairly plain, and pasta is the only option on the menu. So if you are a pasta-lover then you will love this, otherwise stay away. The dessert options are also quite minimal by the way. 

moderatorStaff Writer

Lovely food in a stylish setting – this pasta joint is one of the best restaurants to open in London in the past year. It's affordable too.

tastemaker

I was dying to try Padella pastas!


All those pictures on Instagram and all those comments saying their pastas were the best people ever had! What a big deception after I went to London Bridge especially to try it.

I really like sage butter pasta; this is probably one of my favourite pasta sauces, so naturally I tried their ravioli with sage butter! Nothing special there, I won’t say this is tasteless, it won’t be true, but I was expecting more.

The good thing is the price, in accordance with the quantity of food in your plate, quite small. But at least, this way you can try two different recipes.

I doubt I will go back to Padella since I can have better pasta in some other place in London, even if this is a bit more expensive.

Tastemaker

Having won Evening Standard’s ‘Worth the Queue’ award Padella was on my list of places to visit, albeit with a slight hesitancy regarding said queue. However like many restaurants in London swing by on a Sunday and you may not need to queue at all! This was the delightful situation my friend and I found ourselves in. Marble countertops and high stools line the pasta bar, with the option to sit looking in on the chefs as they work their magic. The pasta is exquisite- plates of squiggles of pasta with marjoram and a golden garlic sauce or with a meat sauce slipped down quickly. My only quibble would be the portions, which are perfect for a very light lunch or dinner, but no more. Definitely worth ordering a starter or one of the meat pastas if you are especially hungry, however the tiny prices (most pastas are under £10) do make ordering sides easy to do, and ensures you won’t leave here hungry.

tastemaker

Padella is one of those places that doesn't have a lot of options in their menu, but does them all perfectly! There always seemed to be a queue but the turnover was pretty quick during lunchtime. We arrived at 12.30 and had 4 of us, were seated in 10 minutes! I ordered the pappadelle with 8-hr beef shin ragu after a quick glance at the menu and it was nothing short of amazing!!! The beef was so tender it melts in my mouth. The pasta was very fresh as well. Having just been to Italy last Spring, I can confirm that this is as good as the ones there. One thing though, like typical pasta courses in Italy, the portion is pretty small- but without the second course options in the menu. Big eaters will probably need 2 (or more!) portions, hence the 4-stars. Other than that everything else is great!

moderator

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.

Tastemaker

After so many rave reviews and Padella's no reservations policy, I knew I’d needed to get there early if I didn’t want to be queuing for a table. I arrived at 5:50 on a rainy Tuesday night and already the restaurant was nearly full - luckily I managed to snap up the last two seats at the bar for my friend and I. There are a number of tables in the basement as well but it was great to sit at the bar and watch all the food being prepared.The menu it concise and all so tempting. Padella does a number of beers and wines on tap as well as a few cocktails. We started with the bean bruschetta, which was slightly disappointing, and a nice fresh salad. The pasta was so pillowy and fresh. Sitting at the bar you can see all of the fresh pasta that has been rolled out that day, ready to be prepared. I had the ricotta ravioli in sage butter - a classic combination that works so well.  For dessert we couldn’t decide on just one to share, and at £4 each there was really no harm in trying a couple. The chocolate tart and almond tart were both delicious - the almond one in particular.

We were pleasantly surprised when our bill came to less than £50. That doesn’t seem to happen much at all in central London, especially for such a quality meal. The service wasn’t overly friendly but it was nice that we weren’t rushed out as soon as we had finished eating.

Tastemaker

We headed for this place at the rush hour of roughly 6.30pm and were greeted by a long line of pasta enthusiasts, so decided to go for a stroll along the river and came back an hour later.  This time we were seated immediately and greeted by the nicest italian girl.  I opted for the Tagliatelle with smoked eel, cream and Amalfi lemon which had just the right amount of lemon zest but still slightly salty.  The only reason this place doesn't get 5 stars is that, although very delicious, at 9 pounds the portion was too small.  

Tastemaker

A new, interesting way of living the pasta experience. First of all, I am Italian and I belong to a cooks' family, so I've always been used to really good handmade pasta. It's like a religion to me and as you may imagine, I always struggle finding good pasta restaurants abroad.


I was recommended Padella by a friend who works in the area, so after a stroll in Borough Market I decided to stop by. As usual, I wasn't too scared of the queue outside and decided to give it a go. Me and my friend were seated in about twenty minutes; the atmosphere is busy and lively, good for an express lunch but maybe not the best for a date. 


We ordered two courses each (we could see portions were not really big) and this turned out to be a great decision as we could try a little bit of a few different things.The quality of the ingredients was very high, I was pleasantly surprised and not disappointed at all. A classy, different way of enjoying pasta in the city.

Tastemaker

At one time, pasta in London seemed solely the proviso of places like ‘Spaghetti House’, ‘Zizzi’ and old 2-4-1 faithful himself, ‘Pizza Express’. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of these chains – I myself have been known to slap the hand of anyone daring to venture towards the last garlic butter stained dough-ball – but every now and then you find yourself thinking, ‘hey, wouldn’t it be nice to have a decent bowl of hand-made pasta, crafted with skill and served with love in a place that isn’t rammed full of map-toting, selfie-snapping tourists chowing down noisily on platters of gummy fusilli?’


Thankfully those lovely people behind Trullo, a stalwart of Italian fine dining in Highbury, have heard our muttered pleas of quiet desperation and come to our rescue with Padella, a love letter to hand-rolled & heavily authentic pasta located seconds from London Bridge and Borough Market.


Like so many recent openings in the capital, you can’t book ahead but on a balmy April evening, I was delighted that the queue was more ‘stand-and-have-a-natter-with-friends’ length than ‘lost-the-will-to-eat-and-can’t-even-be-bothered-to-speak-anymore’. Fifteen minutes after arriving, we were sat downstairs in a minimalist, marble clad and very busy dining room; both floors are small with bars as well as tables seating hungry diners and wait staff politely maneuvering around them. Am I the only person genuinely afraid of setting innocent fellow diners on fire as I squeeze past them, only to drop with nervous relief onto my seat then realise I need to visit the ladies?!


One word of caution – don’t go for a hushed dinner for two; we were close enough to the table next to us that, had the mood struck, we could have leant over, plucked a slice of sourdough from their bread-basket and joined in their amiable chatter.


A small menu made me happy because I’ve generally found that to equate to quality ingredients and dishes made with care, attention & expertise, all of which are equally important. Small menus also suggest confidence that the restaurant knows exactly what it’s trying to give you which in turn, leaves you feeling confident in what you’re about to eat.


Portions are not big but they are excellent quality; you can easily enjoy 3 courses shared with friends (or alone if you’re having the sort of day that only carbs can salvage) and you’ll leave full but not waddling.


Sourdough is light & airy; douse it liberally with the accompanying Tuscan olive oil and a sprinkling of rock salt and then spread it with greedy dollops of comfortingly plump burrata...I’ll say no more on this particular matter but you will feel my silent judgement if, upon dining here, you fail to order this.


Despite arm waving, eye-widening, speaking-in-tongues rapturous reviews of the pappardelle with 8 hour Dexter beef shin ragu already making the rounds, I’m not ashamed to say I was seduced by the tagliolini spiked with nduja & parsley which waved coquettishly at me from the menu. Glossy and stained with the fiery colours of a Roman sunset, it was spicy, dotted with emerald flecks and speckled with tiny strands of nutty Parmesan, a gorgeously vibrant pasta bowl full of life and eaten greedily & slurpily as the very best pasta should be. 


Chocolate tart was sleek & velvety, each spoonful dissolving on my tongue in a toe-curling puddle of pleasure with the accompanying dollop of crème fraiche cutting through the mousse-like sweetness and making it everything it should be; rich, decadent & luscious. Two starters, two mains, a dessert & four glasses of Prosecco came to just over £50 which, given the location and the heritage of the place, didn’t make me weep quietly as other nearby restaurants have done before.


From queuing to dining to departing, we were done in just over 90 minutes so at the moment, its well afforded notoriety means it’s probably not the place to linger for hours over jugs of Chianti but you know what? That’s ok. When you find a place whose owners really want you to love the Italy they love, whose prices won’t leave you as anxious as an avocado tree near a hipster hangout and whose portions won’t have you wake the next morning with that feeling of head-hanging gluttony, well, that’s the kind of place worth planning a return visit or six to.