From Polpo's website 
It was my brothers 23rd birthday, and Dad and he were in town for a meeting and booked to have a get together around food. The venue? My Dads current favourite place, Polpo, in Soho. Mum, not being one to miss out on a trip to the big smoke, hopped on the train so we could for once spend a birthday as a family - as you get older, celebrating together on the actual day is sadly a rare thing. I still vividly remember the first time I woke up in my flat on my own one birthday, no flatmate, as she was at work and no pressies, my parents were down that day and I was celebrating with friends later in the week... it was a wake up call to getting older and my first taste of independence after uni...

So, enough of reflection and onto where we ate...

Polpo has taken London by storm and now serves its Venetian delicacies in three different locations. The name describes the place perfectly -  'a humble restaurant serving simple food and local wines'. It couldn't be more spot on. The relaxed atmosphere is what I like most about Polpo. Friendly staff from the moment you walk in serving warming and delicious foods that silences a table.

From The Telegraph
The menu is split into sections, reads easily and priced exceptionally well £2-9 per dish. Thus meaning you can indulge and try a few more dishes and not break the bank. Sharing is encouraged with plates being placed in the middle of the table, and staff advising on 2-3 dishes per person, depending on how hungry you are... 

On this particular day we must have been starving...whilst we were deciding what to eat we ordered two plates of the fritto misto which is delicately battered and fried prawns, squid and whitebait. This was delicious and not a single bit oily at all...

Calves liver was one of my Dad's choices, this was nice (very onion-ie) but i'm not the biggest fan of liver. It was however, perfectly tender and as it should be cooked, pink. 

The lamb with caponata and basil was absolutely to die for... I wished I wasn't sharing, being a lover of aubergine, this was in a rich tomato sauce with med-rare lamb medallions placed on top. This was my number one of the meal, and one I would definitely order again.

Market greens were our choice of 'let's have something healthy', personally not my favourite, simply blanched and fine if you fancied a bit of veg with your meal...

We had three types of Pizzette for the table: 

  1. cured pork shoulder with pickled pepper, 
  2. bianca,
  3. spinach, parmesan with a soft egg.
Mini-pizzas these are, but they are certainly BIG in flavour and covered in top notch ingredients. My personal favourite was the spinach, however, the both the bianca and the pork shoulder went down well with all. 

Pizzette photo from flicker
The Contechino Sausage and borlotti bean was rich, flavoursome and melt-in-your-mouth good.

Veal and porcini meatballs - you can't go to Polpo and not try these as they have a whole section just for meatballs. Covered in a punchy tomato sauce these meaty rounds were pretty insane and not to mention, enormous!

Spaghetti vongole - my absolute favourite pasta dish has been gobbled up before I even took a snap...however I think the picture below proves how delicious it was!!


Polpo is fantastic, hence my Dad going back regularly... you can't always book, but if you want a later lunch then you can usually book a table from 2pm onwards. It's fabulous Venician home cooked food for family and friends, made for sharing.

Soho, Beak Street, London, W1F 9SB tel: 0207 734 4479

Polpo on Urbanspoon

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