Padella, London Bridge, London
There’s a uniqueness and charm in the style of pasta bistro Padella, an institution to London Bridge with its signature shareable pasta dishes. I rocked up with two friends and after a bit of queue optimisation we made it for our first try.
The story of Padella is that it’s from the owners of Trullo and was borne out of a dream to open a pasta bar with recipes inspired by their trips to Italy. It’s one of the busiest spots in London Bridge and is notorious for its queues. Kinda. The restaurant is no reservations, first come first serve. Once it’s full, there’s a waitlist and we ended up having to come back in about 30min for the table. Not sure what the average is but it always seemed busy.
We were downstairs, which is a tad too dark for my liking (or should that be lighting?). Everything about the restaurant is fast (as it should be) and Padella will have you eating in mere moments. The menu is seasonal but on our night we ordered a mix of well, everything. Pasta plates range around about the £5 – £10 which isn’t that expensive but isn’t that cheap either.
Everything was pretty good. My favourite was the pici with majoram, golden garlic and lemon. This is the thickest pasta noodle and had a lovely, al dente chewiness to it. Gnocchi was super yum, and everything tastes fresh and indulgent. I would say after five or so plates of pasta, the palate quickly starts craving something else. So that called for the pate and focaccia.
So overall Padella was a fun experience. I don’t think it’s a super cheap eat, as you end up ordering at least two dishes per person + drinks + service etc. The pasta is yum and even though the wait can be horrendous, the food comes out quickly enough.