46 � squaremeal.co.uk
6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ No telephone ££
�e team behind much-loved Highbury gem Trullo have well and
truly cracked it with this Italian newcomer near Borough Market.
Split over two floors, Padella is a cramped, no-reservations pasta bar
with a lean, lovely menu that draws on its sibling's greatest hits.
�e place looks dinky from the outside, with white marble
counters, booths in the back, and an open kitchen (watch the pasta
being hand-rolled on-site). It extends downstairs, however, to a
black and gold, low-lit basement dining room and bar with counter
stools and hard glossy-black benches (murder on bonier bottoms).
We were treated to a classic 1980s soundtrack and a full
restaurant, creating an effortlessly congenial vibe. Food prices are
low, but portions modest, so you'll need three courses to fill up.
MUST ORDER Lemon sole with rainbow chard
MUST ORDER Pici cacio e pepe
Antipasti include unembellished plates of beef fillet and carpaccio,
as well as burrata that descends from wobbly sphere to gooey
creaminess at the prick of a fork.
But it is the list of six pasta dishes that steals the show. We had to
order a second plate of the unassuming pici cacio e pepe: fat, al dente
spaghetti with butter, Parmesan and black pepper, astonishingly
delicious and tangy - and only £6. �e pappardelle with Dexter
beef-shin ragu was similarly bursting with flavour, the beef cooked
with due respect. For dessert, our almond and rhubarb tart was a
crunchy, sublime steal at £4.
Service is measured and friendly, in keeping with the restaurant's
casual yet high-quality approach; there are no bookings, but tables
are allocated for a leisurely 90 minutes. An admirably concise drinks
list consists of four wines (all by the glass: don't miss the peachy,
smooth Sussex Bacchus), three cocktails and a trio of espressos
- being succinct is a core characteristic here. In a city of endless
choices, Padella is a supreme antidote.
6 Portland Road, W11 4LA
020 7229 3130 £££
A small restaurant in Holland Park is
one of 2016's hottest openings - even
among fashionable foodies who think
in east London postcodes. �ere's not a
beard or tattoo in sight at Six Portland
Road, just the reassuring virtues of
delicious modern British food, enticing
wine and cheerful service, with sensible
prices to encourage regulars.
Affable front man Oli Barker and
chef Pascal Wiedemann clearly know
what they're doing. �ey were key to the
success of Terroirs nearly a decade ago,
and have a natural instinct for hospitality
and updating familiar dishes for modern
tastes: asparagus served with black
pudding, perhaps, or the long-neglected
anchovy egg mayonnaise. A main course
of lemon sole profits from the crisp
bite of rainbow chard; mackerel arrives
with a tangle of
monk's beard and
blood orange; broad
beans and girolles
are beefed up with
spätzle and a fried
You can simply
snack on charcuterie,
Lucques olives and
or devour a man-size
pork chop with new
potatoes. Dessert is kept simple: cheese in
peak condition, rich chocolate mousse with
bitter cherries, or silky pannacotta with
poached fruit and biscotti.
Wines are European and sourced mainly
from trailblazing Les Caves de Pyrene,
including smaller growers drawn to the
natural wine movement, a handful of
orange wines and imaginative choices by
the 125ml glass. �ere are some top French
labels, but pricing is never greedy.
�ere are a few outside tables to
catch any afternoon sun, while inside,
the dining room is a long thin space in
soothing Scandinavian colours with
standard seating, a long sharing table for
drop-ins and a bar with specialist beers.
It's the perfect neighbourhood restaurant
and a great addition to posh W11.
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