New pasta bar Padella opened at the end of March to rapturous applause - unsurprisingly so, as it's the offspring of the INCREDIBLE Trullo in Islington - so I knew I had to get along sharpish; reservations or no reservations. Of course, it's no reservations but for once it almost doesn't matter. It's not big, but there's about 20 covers worth of bar seating at the entrance level and I think some more space downstairs. You'll queue, but go in no more than pairs and it won't be for long (my friend and I waited 5 mins at about 8.45pm on a Wednesday).
As you can see, we had great seats right on the pass - if you can call it that - allowing us to quiz the chefs on the best dishes of the day. The burrata starter was an obvious choice and was served with amazingly grassy olive oil. No pics of it as we scoffed it immediately.
Then, the pasta. I've got a thing for cacio e pepe at the mo, so that one was a given (literally translates as cheese and pepper - lots of it). The chef agreed and also suggested his favourites of Tagliarini with nduja and the Tagliatelle with smoked eel, cream and Amalfi lemon. At an average of £7 a go, we ordered all three between the two of us, narrowly resisting the signature Pappardelle with beef shin ragu (I've eaten this before at Trullo and it's *****)
All three were fantastic, with the cacio e pepe right up there - I need their exact recipe, stat. A great change from its carbonara cousin and rich without being heavy thanks to the phenomenal amounts of pepper.
The smoked eel tagliatelle was a close second, and once I started eating it I realised I've also had this one at Trullo too. Such an unusual combination, but a completely winning one.
Lastly, a spicy plate of super fine tagliarini, almost invisible underneath its covering of (really good) parmesan. Very nice indeed but perhaps the least remarkable.
The burrata, three pastas and two glasses of merlot on tap came to £18 each. I'm genuinely moving in.