British, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Papi

Gold Award

Hackney has mastered pared-back restaurants that walk a fine line between unfussy dining and hipster-satire vibes. However, Papi seems to have found its place as an eatery serious about food whilst still remaining accessible to everyone, boasting a well polished feel and unpretentious menu. There’s a strong focus on seasonality and zero waste, practising what they preach through fermenting and reinventing leftovers to create the menu for the following day.

We kick things off with white asparagus topped with anchovy and pork lardo, which was perfectly balanced and surprisingly mellow, and then follow it with veal brain, mussels in sugo, and langoustine dishes. Each plate is flawlessly executed, but it was the mussels that really struck a chord with us. Inspired by a panzanella salad, it sees mussels mixed with chunky croutons, skinless tomatoes, basil leaves and a wild garlic sabayon. Ticking the boxes for flavour, texture and presentation, it made us feel slightly sorry for the tried and tested traditional version with its regrettable predictability.

The desserts took a slightly more playful approach, with laid back flavours and enough sprinkles to remind us that Papi is still a friendly neighbourhood restaurant. Whilst we aren’t sure the raw cream custard with pomelo and elderflower is something to write home about, the brown butter waffle with vacherin ice cream and rhubarb was pretty epic. It’s delicious and thought provoking, for both its nostalgic reminder of doughnuts at the fairground, and for raising the question as to why fried waffles aren’t already dominating the London dessert scene.

The wine list is overseen by co-founder Charlie Carr, who runs Wingnut wines in Netil Market, and knows a thing or two about natural wines. It’s hard not to get swept up in his enthusiasm, but you can rest assured that no matter what you decide to go for, you’re in safe hands here.

If we’re ever summoned up into heaven (rather than ushered in the other direction), we hope it looks a little like this.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
British, Modern European
Cool, Cosy, Quiet conversation
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options


Tucked away in the quiet backstreets of Hackney, Papi is a restaurant that is serious about good food, and fine wines. It was opened by Matthew Scott, the brains behind pop up sensation ‘Hot4u’ during the Covid-19 lockdown, and Charlie Carr, owner of Wingnut Wines in Netil Market. Both being passionate in their fields, it’s no surprise that Papi became an overnight success after opening in early 2023. The interior is minimalistic, with just wooden tables, and a little open kitchen where the chefs knock out all of the small plates. Down the steps below is Freddles bar, which is run on a walk-ins only basis, and although it operates separetly from Papi, it makes a great space for post dinner cocktails.

The menu changes regularly, partly due to using the best ingredients of the season, but also because the team believe in a zero waste system, where leftovers are reinvented to create something new for the following day. However, one of the dishes that has earned a permanent place on the menu is the fried brown butter waffle with vacherin ice cream. It's won the hearts of customers for its flavour reminiscent of a donut at the fairground, and can often be found paired with a seasonal fruit.

The wine list contains natural wines, and each producer has been personally met by Charlie, who can talk you through not only how the wine tastes, but what the company and the founders are like. He has a talent for taking the often pretentious air out of wines, and puts it to guests in simple terms - is it delicious, and do I like how it’s made?


Are there vegetarian options available?

Yes, there are vegetarian options available in the main menu.

Helpful? 0

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code at this restaurant

Helpful? 0

Is it open for lunch?

Yes, Papi is open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Helpful? 0


1F, 373 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, London, E8 3DQ

07961911500 07961911500


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun 12:00-16:00
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:30
Sat 18:00-22:30
Sun Closed


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