My lovely friend Ceri had invited me to a screening at the Ham Yard Hotel so we decided to eat nearby at Polpo, a Venetian restaurant serving small plates of simple food. I came here when it first opened in September 2009 and I had good memories!
There is so much on the menu to choose from - cicheti, pizzette, bread, meatballs, meat, fish, vegetables and salads….I would have liked to order the whole lot (no surprise there). We started with the arancini - little rice balls stuffed with cheese and coated in breadcrumbs. They were absolutely delicious but a little small!! I'd recommend ordering two portions.
We then had the octopus and fennel carpaccio which was amazing - I wasn't expecting to like it so much but it was hands down my favourite dish of the night, full of flavour and so fresh.
There are so many meatballs to choose from such as lamb and new season garlic or pork and fennel. We went for the classic beef and pork with a rich, chunky tomato sauce and a side of zucchini, Parmesan and basil - they complimented each other perfectly.
We had a "special" pizzette - a four cheese one. I was expecting more of a pizza covered in cheese, instead the base was very crispy and it was rather light. Still good but not as great as I was expecting, it was a little dry….however I remedied that by dipping it into the tomato sauce of the meatballs!
Finally we ordered the pork belly, radicchio and hazelnuts - this was very good - crispy crackling but soft, tender meat.
I did have room for pudding and had been eyeing up the nutella pizzette and chocolate salami but we had to dash…..next time.
The bill was very reasonable, the food was overall fantastic and service was efficient and friendly. It is no wonder that there were queues out of the door by 7pm! However thankfully there are Polpo restaurants popping up all over the place - Smithfield, Notting Hill, Covent Garden and Chelsea - I expect these are just as popular and I will definitely be frequenting the Chelsea one again soon. I want to eat the above all over again plus there is so much on the menu left to try……the fritto misto, the chickpea, spinach and ricotta meatballs, the coppa, peperonata and goat's cheese bruschetta….yum!
41 Beak Street
Tel: 020 7734 4479