Polpo, Covent Garden


I don’t have any pictures of the food at Polpo for you I’m afraid as I went here with my boss when he was down from Aberdeen for a couple of days and I thought it would be rude to take them so you’ll just have to imagine the deliciousness of it all. Polpo has been on my to visit list for quite a while (I think I first heard people mention it at #LondonBookClub) but it’s not exactly the kind of place you’d go to every week as it has a strict no reservations policy. The best way I can describe it is Italian tapas. Lots of amazing Italian dishes meant to be shared. The recommend two to three plates per person and we ended up ordering seven which was just the right amount for us and luckily we both seemed to have similar tastes. There are no starters or mains everything just comes as and when it’s ready.

The first dish we tried was the fried stuffed olives. Oh my god, whose idea was it to fry olives and oh my god can I kiss them?! Although there were only four of these they were huge beasts of things and absolutely divine. I could definitely have eaten a whole portion of this to myself. Next out was the crab & chickpea crostini along with the fritto misto – lightly battered mixed seafood including octopus, squid, anchovies. The crostini was very nice with a generous portion of topping to bread ratio but the fried fish was simply amazing. It was a light batter, almost tempura style and it was just lovely. The linguine vongole – spaghetti with clams – was bursting with clams but a few of the shells were broken and I got bits in my mouth which was a bit unpleasant but to be expected when you’re eating shellfish. The proscuitto, smoked mozzarella & rocket pizette was probably my least favourite of the lot but that’s not to say that it wasn’t delicious it’s just that the rest of the food was so good. By this point I was starting to feel a little full and as a plate of classic beef & pork meatballs and spaghettini was placed in front of us it looked like a challenge but the meat was cooked to perfection that it wasn’t a chore. Finally we had the chilli & garlic prawns, one of my favourite things ever and I’m kind of glad these were saved for last as they were without a doubt the best dish. Six huge succulent king prawns with their shells still on. Mmm… I’m salivating just thinking about it!

Of course there was still room for a cheeky pudding and while I adored my strawberry & basil panna cotta which was served in a cute little glass rather than in a small mound as I’ve usually seen it presented my boss wasn’t so keen on his affogato corretto. What is affofato corretto you ask? Well it’s a scoop of gelato and an espresso spiked with a shot of alcohol! Eww… definitely not my cup of tea and not his either. He disliked it so much he actually ordered a gelato cone as a second pudding to get rid of the taste!

Including a couple of drinks each and service the bill came to just over £90 which for such a feast and beautifully cooked food I think is a bargain. I always end up with food envy so I love places that offer sharing plates as you get to try a little bit of everything!

6 Maiden Lane

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