Padella is a cute little pasta restaurant on the edge of Borough Market and it’s by the Trullo chaps (they own an Italian neighbourhood spot in Islington). Being so small, seating is a touch cramped if you’re not at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. We were in a corner with someone’s elbow digging into our backs and our legs totally squashed BUT it didn’t matter – it’s all part of the charm. The pasta is so bloody good I’d have gladly sat in the loos and tucked in.
The menu is simple and short; the size that makes two of you question whether to order the whole lot. You can get bread and basic oil (£2.50) but we went all posh and opted for the Chiarentana Estate olive oil (£4.80) which I would thoroughly advise doing also.
Antipastas of burrata with Tuscan olive oil (£4.50) and Dexter beef fillet carpaccio (£7) showed examples of exquisite ingredients presented and prepared with little fuss. When you have the finest produce, you don’t need to mess about with it.
Ravioli of ricotta with sage butter (£7.50) was little cheesy pillows of light pasta. Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu (£9.80) again saw perfectly-made pasta with an intense beefy sauce and chunks of soft beef that brought plenty to the party. Squid-ink tagliarini with Essex mussels (£9) was a great fishy option and the black pasta made it easy on the eye.
For dessert, chocolate or lemon tart (£4) – we shared the latter. No soggy bottom, plenty of punchy lemon flavour and a filling so creamy it made me want to sing That’s Amore while flinging my legs in the air; it was a good tart.
If you hadn’t noticed, I rather liked Padella. It’s refreshing to see a simple restaurant open that does things exactly right from the get go. If you walk past the place in the morning, you’ll see them making the pasta in the window; it really doesn’t get much fresher and it really doesn’t get much better.
We dined as guests of the restaurant.