What: The second coming for beloved pasta restaurant Padella, which created the blueprint for pasta-focused small plates places when it opened in 2016. It follows hot on the heels of fellow pasta slingers Pastaio and Bancone; two restaurants born out of the space Padella helped create that have both gone on to launch second sites in the capital in recent months.
Who: Padella is the brainchild of front-of-house expert Jordan Frieda, and chef Tim Siadatan, who graduated from the first intake at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. The pair first devised the idea for the business back in 2006, but a lack of interest from investors forced them to park the project for nearly 10 years. And in the interim, the pair went on to open Trullo in Highbury. Interestingly while the pair say that they had been actively looking for a second Padella site for a while (spaces in Bermondsey and Brixton were both considered), the expansion was actually born out of a need to grow their bakery space, which prepares the pasta dough and the bread for both Padella and Trullo.
The food: Positioned very much as an extension of the original restaurant, the menu at Padella broadly remains the same with signature pasta options including the gnocchi with nutmeg butter (£4); pici cacio e pepe (£6.50); and the pappardelle with eight-hour Dexter beef shin ragu (£10), all present and correct. The Shoreditch site will, however, serve occasional specials across both the antipasti and pasta selections; while the addition of a deep fat fryer in the kitchen allows for some fritti to be added to the menu – at the press evening that included a mussel fritti plate served with garlic aioli (£9).
The vibe: While the menu and setup broadly remain the same, the Shoreditch space is noticeably different to that in Borough. Set across a single level and able to accommodate 70 covers (the Borough site has 60), it’s a more expansive area that’s amplified by plenty of natural light and a somewhat brutalist, industrial appearance. With both bar and table seating available, it manages to make the most of the larger area without ever feeling cluttered, and even features a few designated standing zones around the outside where people can wait for a table during peak times.
And another thing: While Padella in Borough Market remains synonymous with long queues snaking around the side of the restaurant, Frieda and Siadatan have said they are not allowed to have a physical queue outside the Shoreditch site. As such, the only way to ‘join’ the queue is to add your name to the virtual queue in person at the restaurant, or join it on your phone via the WalkIn app.
1 Phipp Street, London, EC2A 4PS