LONDON | You know when you’re trying to decide what to eat and all you really want is a simple bowl of pasta? Well Padella London Bridge has heard your call. Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda, the blokes behind Trullo in Highbury have opened this hole in the wall pasta bar with the aim of bringing affordable, quality pasta to London. The small rotating menu features eight pasta dishes priced at between £5-£10, along with six antipasti choices like beef carpaccio and burrata with Tuscan olive oil. Everything on the menu is simple, and places the focus squarely on the quality of the produce.
The venue is small, with bar seating around the open kitchen and at prime people watching position looking out the front window onto Borough High Street. The place gets busy, and lines form at lunch so our advice is to get in early – 12:00pm sharp. In the evening, Padella use a “virtual queue” system whereby you arrive, your details are taken, and you can go off and enjoy a drink elsewhere – when your place in the queue is up you get a text notification.
The pasta is made on site, in front of your eyes, and cooked al dente to perfection. Our favourite is the deliciously spicy tagliatelle with nduja, mascarpone and parsley. Another crowd favourite, which has carried over from Trullo, is the earthy and rich eight-hour beef shin ragu served over pappardelle. The drinks menu is only one page, and features quality aperitivi, craft beer, spirits and wine. Only a few of each, but in this case it’s all you need. You can bring your own wine if you choose, with corkage charged at £10 a bottle.
If there’s one criticism to be made about Padella, it’s that the servings are on the small side. This isn’t much of an issue at lunch, when you don’t want to go all in on the carbs in the middle of the working day, but come dinner, the ‘affordable pasta’ angle can be diminished if you go for bowl number two. Having said that, maybe the reason we want two bowls isn’t because we’re not full, but because the pasta’s just that good. Actually it is that. We’re just greedy. Bring on the carbs.
6 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TQ
Mon – Sat: 12:00pm to 4:00pm; 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 5:00pm