Back in London! Review of Polpo, Holland Park
126-128 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3QG
So, the Bavarian adventure is over. This means that I am now ready for London, round 2! And what better way to announce my return than by eating Italian food?
I am constantly on the lookout for new and exciting restaurants (I have an Evernote notebook dedicated to the topic), and websites such as SquareMeal and Time Out, as well as various Twitter feeds, are really helpful in this endeavour. Before I moved to Munich, one place that constantly popped up was Polpo. The funny thing is, I had quite forgotten about it in the meantime, but I was walking around the Holland Park area with a few friends last week and spotted one of their branches. We were on the lookout for a late lunch/afternoon snack/early dinner/nibbles, so we quickly made our way inside. As it was mid-afternoon, we had no trouble getting a booth.
The atmosphere was friendly, and when the waitress told us the concept of the restaurant was small sharing plates, we were delighted, as each of our appetites differed in size. One of us just had a dessert, and the other two shared 3 small plates.
All the menu items looked slightly unusual and interesting, and we opted for the white peach, buffalo mozzarella and pea shoot bruschetta, garlic and chili prawns, seafood linguine and strawberry and basil panacotta.
The bruschetta lacked seasoning (I had to add salt and pepper on top), but the combination of creamy mozzarella and sweet peach was interesting and refreshing. The prawns were absolutely divine, and the linguine perfectly light. My friend’s favourite dessert is panna cotta, and he said that this one absolutely met his standards – a very high compliment.
The service was stellar, as we were constantly supplied with water and given all the information we needed about the various menu items in a friendly, yet unintrusive way. I do recommend Polpo as a place to share a tapas-style meal – they also have branches in Soho and Covent Garden, to name but a few. Prices are reasonable for the quality of food and portion sizes are small, but not stingy.