If Italy were literally a boot, it would be a UK size 41 million.
And if Italy were a restaurant, it would be Padella.
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.
Parked on the edge of Borough Market, the art-deco-ey space has handsome marble countertops hugging the white walls, lined with stools and all nearly encircling the honeycomb-tiled open kitchen. Which is where they make:
A small but flavourful list made up of things like bright green Castelvetrano olives, freshly baked sourdough, and a satisfyingly fat ball of creamy burrata with Fi0rano olive oil to serve.
Which again is a short-but-sweet list of just ten dishes, but which is also remarkably cheap; almost every main costs less than a tenner. Top-shelf ingredients are spun into dishes like Neal’s Yard Westcombe ricotta and sage ravioli; their famed parpadelle with 8-hour beef shin ragu; tagliarini with Dorset crab; and the obligatory cacio e pepe, which all sit neatly alongside seasonal and rotating numbers like fettucine with violet artichokes. All of which should make you thirsty for:
Which comes in the form of British craft beers, barrels of Italian wine (or BYOB for £10) and a trio of Italian classic cocktails (Negroni, Americano, Spritz), each given a signature Padella twist. And as for coffee, they only do espresso. If you want to add something to it, they’ll throw in a shot of grappa.
If the shoe fits…
NOTE: We’re not joking about the boot thing. Italy’s southern coastline is 346.96km from “toe” to “heel”, which – using this formula – makes a UK shoe size 40,979,504. We rounded up, though, because you never know with shoes.
ALSO NOTE: Padella is open daily, 12-3.45pm and 5-10pm (9pm Sunday). No reservations: if you’d like to go, just turn up – and be prepared for completely insane queues. Find out more HERE.
Padella | 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ
Need somewhere to wait till your table’s ready? Head to Tap & Bottle wine bar