After 3 weeks of traveling around rural China and eating a mammoth amount of noodle soups, we were in the mood for some food that was as far away from China as we could get.
It was almost a year ago since we first ate at Polpo, and having tried 2 of the 3 later incarnations of this ever so popular and cool mini chain of small eateries, I thought it was time to try the latest opening. da Polpo.
There is not much I can say about da Polpo that hasn’t already been said by every blogger in and around London. So all I will say is that it is bigger and has a slightly more faux warehouse look than the other sites. But still nice nonetheless.
But onto the food as that is all this is about. The concept of small plates is again flourishing here, but more emphasis is placed on pizzettas (small pizzas to the unknowing) and meatballs. I like.
So we ordered a couple of the pizzattas. A white anchovy and a pork and pepper one. Man had I missed pizza. I grew up as a kid disliking anchovies immensely, but my wife has got me addicted to them. Light and fishy these fresh buggers were. I just wished there were more of them on the little pizza.
The pork and pepper was jammed packed with wafers of thin slices of ham and jalapenos. Not sure how Italian the jalapeno is, but it was bloody good and added a slightly spicey note that my buds had gotten used to in Hunan.
We also ordered the cauliflower fontina gratin and a plate of spicy pork and fennel meatballs. Again this was needed to jolt us away from China.
I cannot remember when I last cooked cauliflower cheese, and this Italian version with its creamy fontina cheese has made me want to cook it again. The gratin needed a bit more time under the grill, but the creamy cheese and al dente cauliflower made up for that.
The meatballs were good as well with their heavy notes of fennel. Something else I haven’t had in an age as well. I really must widen my eating habits.
I like da Polpo, not just for the food, but because it is larger than the other 3 and you have more of a chance of getting a table without the obligatory 1 hour queue. Although that is always good when you have a bottle of white to see you through.