I can happily queue for a good pasta, but it must have been Aftab and my lucky stars one evening as we turned up at Padella, next to Borough Market and found ourselves first in queue after an impulsive plan.
As the aroma of freshly chopped ingredients wafted through the air, we patiently waited until they opened their doors. It was a nice crisp evening and the anticipation of a good meal kept us going.
Being first means you have your pick of seating too so when we were allowed in, we chose a corner spot on the counter, so we were not in the way of anyone and had a fabulous view of all the action.
There is an upward trend of counter dining in London, with new restaurants opening adopting this, such as the Barbary as an example, and I love this concept. You don’t have to stare across the table at your fellow dining partner (not that that’s a bad thing), but instead have the opportunity to watch your food being freshly prepared and experience the buzz of the kitchen.
To kick off our experience at Padella, Aftab went for a glass of bubbles, whilst I went for a glass of red. For me Italian food and a nice red wine are my ultimate comfort.
For starters Aftab chose the Castelvetrano Green olives, which were gorgeous. Loved their light shade of green and the thick skins.
Having heard so much about the Burrata, I went for it, Drizzled with Puglian Olive oil and with a generous sprinkle of seasoning, it was delicious. Comparing it to one we had had another time at a different restaurant, I much preferred this version as it was moist and melt in your mouth.
For mains, Aftab had his heart set on one of his favourite Italian dishes – a Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu. Priced at £8.50, which is the price of starters in most restaurants, Padella is so reasonably priced! He loved the pasta and wiped the plate clean quickly. He had a look of sheer happiness on his face so I know it was a winner.
My choice was the Ravioli with ricotta and sage butter was just dreamy. Just perfect. I would stand for hours in the queue for this dish. Priced at £7.00, it was also so reasonably priced.
While we ate we watched the food being prepared per order and were amazed by the lack of stress and the effectiveness of the team in preparing all the dishes freshly from scratch and in a timely manner.
The great part about Padella is the menu is simple and the atmosphere is casual, relaxed and non-fancy. All classic dishes with no frills and just amazing. The ultimate comfort food. Great food cooked brilliantly. The food is prepared fairly quickly so we were in and out in about an hour.
To end on a sweet note, I chose Vanilla ice cream, which was delicious, creamy and the Vanilla flavour was just amazing.
Aftab chose the Chocolate Tart and it was fabulous. The entire meal was just fantastic. We had superb service and throughly enjoyed watching the chefs in action.
Padella has recently been awarded a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide for 2017, and I can see why. Michel Roux Jr also visited recently and was wowed by the food and hey he knows his stuff!
As we sat at our counter and occasionally glanced outside, the queue was getting bigger and bigger so my advice is get there early and you will not be disappointed.
We will definitely be going back because that meal was just sensational – simple and perfect in every way.
For more information on Padella go here.