• Italian• London Bridge
Padella started life as the more casual sister restaurant to Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda’s Trullo, but has since eclipsed it in popularity, owing to its incredible value proposition and always-high quality.
Food revolves around freshly prepared pasta, cooked simply in time-honoured recipes. Highlights are the pici cacio e pepe – a black pepper, butter and parmesan sauce adorning thick worm-like al dente pasta – and fettuccine with nduja from British charcuterie producer Cobble Lane. Make sure you get a couple of orders of sourdough bread to mop up any spare sauce.
Given the quality of the food on offer and the price point (if you order cleverly, you can eat well for £25 a head), it’s no surprise that the no-reservations policy means a big queue at prime times. It’s more than worth it, though, for one of London’s best pound-for-pound restaurants, and one that’s perfect for a casual pit-stop.
It’s affordable enough that you can order everything on the menu and still have enough dosh to neck a couple of pints at the pub afterwards.
They’re not playing at the dreaded artisan word here, as others do, mostly by shoehorning “artisan” in front of anything they fancy; they’re making the stuff fresh every day.
Trullo is one of those restaurants I dish out as a dinner tip nigh-on continuously. First, by listing its many plus points: ‘excellent but not up itself’ and then ‘modern without attempting hipness’, and even ‘the sort of place where you wouldn’t mind being proposed to’, before ending with a wistful ‘it’s lovely — if you can get in’.
The interior is smallish, tiled in black and white, with high Carrara marble counters and a bar upstairs, and a thrillingly retro sitting-down-properly bit beneath.
A chic pasta bar just moments from the Borough Market bustle.
After all it’s run by the people behind Trullo, the critically lavished Italian spot in Highbury. However this follow-up is a more focused effort, serving only fresh, hand-made pasta – which you can see being made from the window, all day – and antipasti.