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Sometimes all you want in London is a concise, straightforward menu, superb food and good value. The team behind much-loved Highbury Italian Trullo have well and truly cracked it here. Split over two floors, this cramped, no-reservations pasta bar features a marble-topped counter overlooking the kitchen (watch the pasta being hand-rolled on site) and a black and gold, low-lit basement dining room and bar. We were treated to a classic 80s soundtrack and a full restaurant, creating an effortlessly congenial vibe. Antipasti include unembellished plates of beef fillet carpaccio and burrata, leaving a list of six pasta dishes to steal the show. We ordered a second plate of the unassuming pici cacio e pepe: fat, al dente spaghetti with butter, Parmesan and black pepper, astonishingly delicious and tangy, only £6. Pappardelle with Dexter beef shin ragu was similarly bursting with flavour, the beef cooked with due respect. Almond and rhubarb tart was a crunchy, sublime steal at £4. Some portions could be larger (although none of the dishes are more than £10) and there are just three cocktails and four wine choices – don’t miss the peachy, smooth Sussex Bacchus – being succinct is Padella’s core characteristic. In a city of endless choices, Padella is a supreme antidote.
I applaud another new restaurant opening up in my area. Although there is great eating to be had in nearby Borough Market, sometimes I just want to have a break from the crowd and sit down for lunch. Food tends to taste better if you aren’t at risk of being sideswiped by time pressed tourists.Chill. The Shard won’t crumble just yet.
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I’ve been itching to get to Padella. I never used to be a huge pasta fan, but ever since having some silky smooth and buttery pasta at Vasco and Piero, I have been searching for other Italian places to give me the same experience (preferably for less money).Padella is the fast-serve pasta place from the guys behind Trullo. It’s small and trendy, and doesn’t take bookings so queuing is the name of the game. Unless you can get there early.
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I’d tried out Trullo in Highbury last year – a friendly Italian inspired restaurant serving up excellent food. I left with a very good impression and have been meaning to go back since. Sadly the location isn’t that convenient for me. So when I heard that they’d opened up a new sister restaurant next to London’s Borough Market dedicated to pasta,there was no excuse to not go!
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Padella opened in Borough Market in March this year. It’s basically a pasta bar where they make their hand-rolled pasta fresh every day and serve it with sauces and fillings inspired by trips to Italy. The simple menu offers eight handmade pasta dishes and a handful of classic starters. Okay, sounds good so far.Not so good is that you can’t book. One of my pet hates about restaurants – I hate being disorganised (which not booking implies to me) and I really hate queuing (especially for food).
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