Chats and Nibbles at Polpo, Soho

Polpo 

When my friend KK needed someone to speak to and no one else was available, I offered my ear even though I wasn’t feeling at all well suffering from a mild chest infection. A quick dinner wouldn’t hurt I thought and may even leave me feeling slightly better. In appreciation, KK agreed to go to tapas-style Italian, Polpo, even though she hates sharing.

Great vibe

There are a few Polpo restaurants in London with this one being in Soho. We arrived early as you cannot book and the place is hugely popular, luckily we were shown to a table straight away. The room was dimly lit and packed full of couples and groups of friends, I really liked the vibe but it was impossible to take quality photos due to the low light so a pain for bloggers like me (I hope the new camera I got for Christmas means I will no longer have this problem!)

Sharing menu

There’s no doubt sharing is a growing trend and this menu was designed for just that. It included a large number of small plates designed for sharing but not quite as small as a tapas. The dishes were divided into meat, fish, vegetables, breads and nibbles, similar to that found at The Dairy in Clapham and Grain Store in Kings Cross, but with slightly smaller portions. We ordered the following:

  • Ricotta, squash & sage crostini
  • Spinach, Parmesan & soft egg pizzette
  • Lamb & pistachio meatballs
  • Cuttlefish & ink gnocchi, gremolata
  • Ricotta crumble

Ricotta, squash & sage crostini

First came the ricotta, squash & sage crostini, which was a bite-sized peice of toasted bruschetta topped with a creamy cheese and butternut squash. This tasted lovely and I could have happily had another.

Spinach, Parmesan & soft egg pizzette

Next up was the spinach, parmesan & soft egg pizzette, possibly the thinnest pizza base I’ve ever come across and although not to my personal taste, ensured we weren’t too full to enjoy the rest of the dishes. I loved the slightly salty spinach and yolky cracked egg on top of the pizza, it gave great flavour. The lamb and pistachio meatballs were huge and seasoned well with plenty of tomato sauce, perfect for soaking up with bread if we had ordered some.

Lamb and pistachio meatballs

Our least favourite dish was the cuttlefish mainly because it was jet black due to the ink gnocchi which meant with the dim lighting, we couldn’t see what we were putting into our mouths. I didn’t have too much of a problem with this but KK felt uncomfortable not being able to see what she was eating. This was nothing to do with how the dish was cooked and it was just our adventurous choice in ordering something we didn’t know what it was. At least we now know we don’t like cuttlefish nor ink gnocchi!

Cuttlefish & ink gnocchi, gremolata

Although our choice of dishes could have been better, I couldn’t fault the cooking and was so disappointed that a mild chest infection left me unable to enjoy the food on offer. After a nibble of each dish, I was finished for the evening. KK persuaded me to order ricotta crumble for dessert so I could give you an insight into Polpo’s many sweet dishes. Desserts are priced around £6, fairly reasonable I thought and there were a number of lighter options like my crumble priced at £2 or £3. From my nibble I did managed to form an opinion which was slightly disappointing I have to admit but again, maybe this was the wrong choice and I would have preferred something slightly more to my taste like the flourless orange and almond cake.

Ricotta crumble

Being under the weather meant I was unable to enjoy Polpo as much as I probably would have but it hasn’t stopped me wanting to return. I love the concept of sharing small dishes, the vibe inside and I certainly couldn’t fault the service. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, drink and catch up with friends or a date Polpo will suit just perfect.

Living life, loving food,

H x

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