The European about town, Chapter Three: Padella.


A few weeks ago, I made a booking at the exciting and popular Padella.  Their original branch in Borough Market doesn’t accept bookings (and never has done), but their outpost in Shoreditch does, offering a sheltered terrace as part of the Great Reopening, Take Three.  For some reason, I made the booking for a Friday lunchtime which, given the chaos at work which comes with any hotel pre-opening, was a daft idea.  Consequently, I gave the booking to The European and her friend.  The next morning, I got her to report back on what went down at arguably one of the best pasta restaurants in town.

Me: So how was it overall?

Her: (Looks up from reading anime on her tablet) It was amazing.

Me: Would you care to elaborate?

Her: (Yawns).

Me: Can you share more information?

Her: Well, the weather was really nice, the sun was shining, we were sitting outside, and we didn’t freeze our tits off.  We ordered three different pasta dishes.  One was Dorset crab with chilli and lemon.  One was with ragù and the third was with ‘nduja and ricotta.  I cannot really remember now, let me find the pictures.

The ‘nduja was spicy.  It was really amazing.  All fresh pasta. They were not massive potions, but enough for us to share.  We were not overfull; I think it helps that you have really good ingredients and fresh pasta.

The waitress was amazing.  She was bubbly, fun, and able to talk about the dishes.  She was really personable.  That makes the whole experience.

Me: What was the wine like?

Her: The wine was good, we had… a white wine.  A Trebbiano.  It was a dry wine and went well with the food.   

Me: What is the restaurant like?

Her: It was great.  They had a terrace. What was really smart is that they had plastic windows which they can pull up if the wind was too much.  They had heaters too.  Even if it were raining, it would have been fine. 

Me: Anything they could have done better?

Her: I would have wanted bigger portions.

Me: Of course you would.

Her: Just because I was sharing.  But I basically had a plate and half to myself.  Because it was so good, you wanted to have more of it.  The ragù was something to die for. I would go back just for that dish.

Me: What was so good about it?

Her: The fresh ingredients.  It was very simple, very well combined.  It was all very fresh.  That is really important; it was simple things done well.  And it was all well-priced.

Me: How much again?

Her: For two people, three plates and two glasses of wine each, it was £fifty-four.   I think that is quite decent. But is it simple food, and should not be more expensive than what it was.

Me: Anything else?

Her: No, I think that is it. 

Me: Thanks, you can go back to your anime now.

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