London Guide: Pasta
Welcome to my second London Guide! If you missed the first one, you can read it here.
As a vegetarian, Pasta has been a staple part of my diet for many years. In fact, I’ve eaten many mediocre pasta dishes in my time due to it being my only option in a restaurant. Thank goodness times have changed. London has some amazing restaurants specialising in pasta, ranging from quick street food to fine dining experiences, so I’ve tried to give you a place for every
I discovered Pastaio whilst delving deep into the internet in my search for great pasta. Of course, the best pasta is fresh and once paired with British ingredients, you know you’re on to a winner.
I chose the Chickpea & rosemary conchigliette with Pastaio olive oil & sage. I have never had chickpeas with pasta and I was incredibly curious. Turns out we should be putting these two together more often. The chickpeas helped thicken the creamy, rich sauce, which paired perfectly with the crisp sage. I had to work so hard not to inhale the entire dish. This is why I like eating pasta in restaurants, it’s so much more than opening a packet and pouring over your bog standard tomato & basil sauce. If you really want to get into the Italian spirit, I recommend an Aperol spritz or a Campari soda (for those who don’t like sweet drinks).
If you’ve ever taken the time to wander around the streets of Soho, you may have spotted Lina Stores. The pasta is made by hand every day and is served in small portions, so you can try more!
There are details of the Lina Stores branding everywhere and it’s some of the most beautiful interior design I’ve seen. Sitting at the bar really is a must. I insist.
We ordered two pasta dishes, the Pumpkin-filled Schiaffoni, Butter, Sage & Piemontese Hazelnuts and the Agnolotti Verdi, Black Truffle & Ricotta. Both dishes were superb. The pumpkin filling had bags of flavour, which was perfectly accompanied by a very simple sauce. The Agnolotti has the biggest mound of truffle I had ever seen. It was truly truffle heaven.
A word of advice, you have to visit the bathrooms whilst you’re there.
The Mac Factory
When you’re out and about on a cold day, you just crave a hot meal to warm up your soul. The Mac Factory provides that. With a range of mac ‘n’ cheeses to choose from, there is something for everyone. I chose The Super Mario, which came with sauteed mushrooms, truffle oil and garlic. It was delicious, super rich and certainly a winter warmer. The pots may look small, but these bad boys will keep you full for hours.
Try and get there before the lunchtime rush. It’s a bit chaotic otherwise and you probably won’t find a seat.
Padella has blown my mind. I do not understand how somewhere can be such good value for money! Owned by the same guys behind Trullo in Highbury & Islington, Padella does freshly
One piece of advice, get there early. They don’t take reservations and we had to queue for 30 mins to get a table. So worth it though.