Throughout the morning, the cold marble counter tops are used to roll and cut the fresh pasta made each day. Padella (it means pan in Italian) has snuck into Borough Market, and conveniently right outside the entrance to London Bridge tube.
It’s sister restaurant Trullo in Highgate, is much-raved about and I’m sure it’s as marvellous as everyone says, but I’ve not been so can’t compare or comment. I have visited Padella and enjoyed each mouthful I tried.
After our visit I realise that both of the owners are working there – Tim is the man I chat to about freshly-baked bread on the premises and Jordan is front-of-house.
It’s got a first-floor restaurant and basement space, mostly counter seating with a few tables.
It carries a failsafe menu of just eight or so handmade pasta dishes, a few antipasti and a couple of desserts, all at fabulous price points for the capital.
The same goes for the drinks menu, a few red, white and rose Italian wines and a couple of British tap beer. There are various Campari-laced drinks alongside other Italian faves.
Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu (£9.80) was full of flavour. Wide ribbons of al-dente pasta were swirled amongst a fabulous ragu sauce, studded with large pieces of pulled beef and given the slow-and-low treatment.
Delicate flavours of smoked eel lifted with a cream sauce infused with Amalfi lemon and decent chunks of fish (£9.00). Parsley scattered throughout made this a well-rounded dish. The tagliatelle was, like the other pasta served, that beautiful creamy egg colour.
Pici cacio e Pepe was reminiscent of any pasta eaten in Tuscany. A simple, cheese and pepper sauce was soaked up by thick Pici spaghetti and was wonderful. Cracked black pepper livened up the sauce giving it so much flavour. A decent serving size was £6.00.
We tried another Tagliatelle, this time with an Italian fennel sausage ragu. The sausage was bursting with aniseed flavour (£7.50) and paired well with the pasta and cream sauce. So tasty, we forgot to take pictures.
The ravioli was bursting pillows of sheep ricotta and served with a sage-infused butter.
I’ve only tasted handmade pasta as good as this in Italy and from the company La Tua. If you’re after great tasting pasta, that won’t break the bank. Why are you still reading?
Padella, 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ