“Fantastic pasta, fresh ingredients and a real city vibe” – this no-bookings pasta joint from the people behind much-loved Trullo scores in every department, and it’s amazingly affordable too: “where else can you pay £4 for a plate of gnocchi and be transported to Italy?” muses one fan.
They don’t take bookings and the queues are endless, with some punters sitting on stools at the modest marble-topped counter overlooking the kitchen action while others decamp to the relative comfort of the low-lit black-and-gold basement dining room.
Either way, the short daily menu never disappoints, and the hand-rolled pasta gets rave reviews: properly al dente pappardelle with aromatic lamb ragù stole the show for one reader, although the choice might run from tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon to stracci with sweet onion, thyme and Gorgonzola.
A bowl of pasta should do the trick on its own, but if you want to do the full three-course trip, there are a few antipasti to start (bruschetta with cannellini beans and salsa rossa, say) plus a trio of desserts along the lines of salted caramel ice cream or almond and pear tart.
The succinct drinks list keeps things neat and tidy, with just three cocktails, three beers and four Italian wines on tap – or you can BYO (£10 corkage). Affable, efficient staff know how to manage the crowds and they operate a waiting list in the evening (just leave your details and they’ll text you when a table is free).