From outside Padella looks like a pretty small spot. There is a counter wrapped round the kitchen and another bench facing out towards the street. (I discovered later they have more seating downstairs.) Luckily they could fit us in with two seats at the kitchen counter, directly in front of the head chef and a man grating vast quantities of parmesan. He grated so much that I suspect there might soon be a shortage in Parma, so get yourselves to the supermarket quickly if you need any more.
|Pici cacio e pepe|
One theme from the reviews was that the dishes were quite small so we decided to order three pastas. Just after we'd ordered Fergus Henderson walked in and sat down just behind us. I thought this was some top celebrity spotting, but most people I've spoken to since haven't known who Fergus is. Nose to tail eating anyone?
If you are only going to serve one thing it better be good and Padella pretty much nails it with their pasta. The signature pici cacio e pepe (pici pasta with pecorina, salt and pepper) had a slight bounce still left in the pasta. A couple of mouthfuls had possibly a bit too much pepper for me, but that's kinda the point for this dish. The pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu was also a highlight. I wish they sold the ragu in jars to take away.
There was a tiny bit of room left after our mains so we ordered an almond tart. The coarsely ground almonds made it another winner.
6 Southwark Street