Pasta. You just can’t go wrong. Especially when it’s home (and lovingly) made by Tim and Jordan, from Trullo (in Highbury) fame. They had always wanted to open a pasta bar, and have now finally done so, right by London Bridge, on the edge of Borough Market.
Their soft launch weekend was a few weeks ago, so hundreds queued for hours to enjoy 50% off their pasta dishes. But the prices are so low there’s no need to feel like you missed out. I can’t think of a restaurant that I’ve been to in years that is as affordable (and quick) as Padella is. Pasta dishes range from a fiver to just under a tenner, which is the Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu. The antipasti is all under £5, and if you’re starving and craving carbs I’d highly recommend their sourdough bread with delicious olive oil (you can even upgrade to the really fancy stuff). And perhaps some of their burrata.
My friend Amber and I were both instantly drawn to the Tagliatelle with Italian fennel sausage ragu, but decided to share two pasta dishes so we could try more of the menu. So we also went for the Ravioli of ricotta with sage butter. Both were wonderful and completely moorish. Licking the plate was sadly not an option but had I been in the safe confines of my own kitchen I would not have held back.
The wine menu is short and succinct. The merlot a mere £3 a glass (but they are small). Pudding is 100% worth going for, their flourless chocolate cake light and fluffy and a real winner.
The place itself seems tiny when you walk in – there is a kitchen bar and a few tables. But downstairs offers a much larger space (but it’s still quite squashed). I would probably recommend sitting at the kitchen bar upstairs as it’s fun watching the chefs work their magic. The interiors are cute, but downstairs could probably do with a little more atmosphere.
Padella is the perfect quick lunch or dinner option, affordable and filling, with unique sauces and produce. I think it will remain as popular as it was during their soft launch, and not just because of their pricing.
6 Southwark Street
Photo credit food: me
Photo credit interiors: Steve Joyce