Polpo Soho 1

Squaremeal Review of Polpo Soho ?

Russell Norman’s original take on a Venetian bácaro has spawned siblings and imitators across the capital, but Polpo’s queues still start early, whether you’re after a hit in the overflow Campari bar downstairs or a berth in the warmly lit dining room. The genre-defining mix of ‘rough edges’, brick walls and deliberately scuffed plaster, with brown-paper menus and glass tumblers atop worn tables feels too ‘cool’ for some, but great-value small plates win over most punters: try gooey arancini or anchovy-and-chickpea crostini, followed by rich meatballs on spaghettini or cuttlefish in a silky black-ink risotto – a dish that enjoys an evangelical following. Carafes of house wine(served in three different sizes) keep the bill from climbing, as do competitively priced all-Italian bottles. On the downside, ‘brusque’, scatty service can sometimes rub customers up the wrong way, however.

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Polpo Soho
10

Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

Feb 2013

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Reading reviews of Polpo and their menu it looked like exactly the kind of place I would love and I was very excited about the prospect of our meal there. However, the service turned the experience into somewhat of a disaster. I met a friend for a catch up an hour before our reservation when the rest of our party were due to arrive. We asked Polpo if we could sit at the bar and were sharply told 'no, it's for food only' when I said we were eating in an hour the front of house pointed to the corner...

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Dorothea A.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

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by   platinum reviewer (163)

Sep 2012

Polpo is one of my favourite places to eat in London so I'm sad at the service bashing it's taken in some reviews. I don't know what others expect but on our recent visit we got menus given, questions answered, orders taken, drinks and food delivered and when I smiled they all smiled back. Yes, you have to wait for a table, but you know that already, and yes, food is sometimes plonked down, but they are delivering multiple plates to multiple tables so if they stopped for a chat at every opportunity...

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BoatLady's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 8

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   (2)

Apr 2012

Editor's pick Not quite sure I understand all the negative comments on service here. It's loud and it's brash – but it's meant to be. Why come here if you want ‘smart service’? And surely everyone must see what incredible value it is. Where else in central London can you eat truly delicious food with a glass of wine for less than £40 for 2. The meatballs are always divine, the pizzetta perfect. My only complaint are the tumblers for the wine – but at least that encourages me to stick to house white and so keeps...

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Elizabeth P.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 9

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star halfstar emptystar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   (1)

Feb 2012

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

If it hadn't been for the company it would have been an appalling night out. I have never been moved to write a review online before but I am so sorry that our group spent our hard-earned money here. Having been to Da Polpo I'd raved to my friends about the place and thought Polpo would be more of the same. The food was delicious, credit to the chefs but I wish the chefs had served us. Standard of cooking doesn't matter one bit if the service makes you so unhappy that you feel actually robbed of...

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Elizabeth B.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 1
  • Atmosphere: 1
  • Value: 1

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar halfstar emptystar emptystar empty

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by   gold reviewer (44)

Feb 2012

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

I try to see good in every situation: so here's the good bit. I went to Polpo very recently and ate at the bar as it was lunchtime and I was alone. The lady who answers the telephone and seats diners was helpful, friendly, bubbly and cute. The atmosphere was humming and, as I had blundered in not really having looked at the name, I was heartened and expected to exit a satisfied customer. The food was undoubtedly cheap – but though it tasted good there was almost none of it to taste. The apple and...

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Junglefresh.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 5
  • Service: 2
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 7

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

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by   gold reviewer (40)

Jun 2011

There’s a fun little place in Soho that fuses European bacaro and tapas influences to create exciting small plates of Venetian history. Polpo takes its inspiration from the osterie and dintorni of Venice and there’s a warm ambience when I arrive for lunch. The restaurant has a small and unassuming entrance which leads deep inside to reveal the serving counter at the rear where there are shelves holding oils, wines and jars of olives and crunchy biscotti. The dining room stretches back like a bowling...

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David J.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 7

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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by   (2)

Jan 2011

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Had dinner here on a Saturday evening. No bookings taken so the expected wait of 30-40 minutes was not a surprise but it wasn't a problem, we had a drink at the bar. It's small but not uncomfortable. The maitre d' was a perfect combination of being in command of a packed bar and restaurant while still being warm and friendly – very impressive in such a busy venue on a Saturday night. The food is imaginative and well-cooked but was served way too cold – I understand the chichetti concept but the...

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Dawn P.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 6
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Value: 6

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar halfstar emptystar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (8)

Nov 2010

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Having heard so much about Polpo, we were really pleased to get a table. Early evening and the place was buzzing – it looked like it would be great fun. Oh dear here is another example of a restaurant that is now too popular and struggling to keep up with its reputation. The service was poor – too few staff, not enough room for them to move and their stress was obvious in their faces and behaviour. The food was really average – nothing wrong but not memorable. The noise levels meant it was impossible...

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Maggie P.'s rating

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  • Food & Drink: 5
  • Service: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4
  • Value: 5

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Polpo Soho

41 Beak Street ,London W1F 9SB

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

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by   bronze reviewer (12)

Aug 2010

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Hearing all the buzz and hype about this restaurant made a couple of friends and myself a little more than desperate to have a taste for ourselves. So there we found ourselves, on a Friday night in the capital of impossible to get reservations without a reservation. It seemed like the perfect time to sample Polpo with its no reservations policy. We hot footed it over to Beak St and walked through the welcoming doors. The wait, we were told, could be up to 40 mins, but since we were in no rush and...

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Laypy's rating

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  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Value: 6

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  1. Published :

    THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! :: THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD!: POLPO, SOHO

    I always feel like a tourist when I head over to the West End, especially on a Friday night when everyone is celebrating the start of the weekend - it feels like being on holiday!

    My lovely friend Ceri had invited me to a screening at the Ham Yard Hotel so we decided to eat nearby at Polpo, a Venetian restaurant serving small plates of simple food. I came here when it first opened in September 2009 and I had good memories!

    There is so much on the menu to choose from - cicheti, pizzette, bread, meatballs, meat, fish, vegetables and salads….I would have liked to order the whole lot (no surprise there)....
    More from THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! »

  1. Published :

    #FatInside :: #FatInside: Polpo - Soho

    Polpo opened its doors in 2009 in Soho and has since built a reputation of offering specialist Italian cuisine from Venice. Its huge success has meant it's opened up a few restaurants across London and has become a mini chain providing some of Soho's finest tapas. Its reputation tempted us to visit the chain on a Sunday evening and as we walked in to the dimly lit restaurant, we had high expectations.
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  1. Published :

    THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! :: This little piggy loves food Polpo Soho

    I always feel like a tourist when I head over to the West End, especially on a Friday night when everyone is celebrating the start of the weekend - it feels like being on holiday!

    My lovely friend Ceri had invited me to a screening at the Ham Yard Hotel so we decided to eat nearby at Polpo, a Venetian restaurant serving small plates of simple food. I came here when it first opened in September 2009 and I had good memories!

    There is so much on the menu to choose from - cicheti, pizzette, bread, meatballs, meat, fish, vegetables and salads….
    More from THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! »

  1. Published :

    Tiki Chris :: Tiki Chris Polpo Does Brunch

    Everybody’s favourite British bácaro presents newfound reason to get up and out on the weekend with a just launched brunch menu available on Saturdays and Sundays at all Polpo locations. If you already love Polpo, you’ll love it all the more for introducing a range of cicchetti and sharing dishes designed for convivial and relaxed daytime dining.
    More from Tiki Chris »

Essential Details for Polpo Soho

  • Address: 41 Beak Street, London W1F 9SB
  • Telephone: 020 7734 4479
  • Website:
  • Opening Times: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm Sat-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Area: Soho
  • Price: £31.00
  • Wine: £17.00
  • Champagne: £66.00
  • Private Dining: 18

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