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
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:12
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
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.
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.