Restaurants Reviews

Restaurant Review || Polpo

It’s pretty safe to say that over the past few years, the popularity of Polpo exploded. One Valentine’s Day several years ago, Sam managed to snag a coveted table for us from their one restaurant in London, which wasn’t taking reservations. Now there seems to be a Polpo on every corner of central London! But has it changed the deliciousness of Polpo?

Going back, there was one dish that I knew I had to order: the chickpea, spinach and ricotta “meatballs” (£6). I had had them last time I was there and they have haunted my dreams since. I loved them that much. Upon re-ordering them, they were just as good as I had remembered. Sam and I also shared a starter of grilled focaccia (£3) and some arancini (£4). The focaccia was fairly standard and the arancini was good, but not hearty enough for two to share. (In my opinion.) 

For mains, Sam had the crab and chili linguine (£8) which he said was the star of the meal for him. I had the chicken cotoletta with aioli (£7). My chicken was nice, if on the tiny bit dry side and it definitely needed that squeeze of lemon to zest it up a tiny bit, otherwise it would have been a bit flat. 

The service left a bit to be desired. It wasn’t busy by any means, but everything seemed a bit disorganised. So would I return to Polpo now that it’s spread? For dinner, maybe not. But I’d definitely pop in for appetisers and a drink (I recommend the aperol spritz) before moving on to something else later in the evening. 

And no matter what my other impressions of Polpo were, I shall continue to dream about those chickpea meatballs, because I love them so! 

polpo menu
dinning room
chickpea meatballsarancini
spinach and ricotta meatball
crab pasta

You can find Polpo in Soho, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Covent Garden, and Smithfield. 

Have you been before? Thoughts?

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  • Angie SilverSpoon

    I love the food at Polpo 🙂

  • I’ve still not made it to Polpo but I’ve tried some of the other Russell Norman operations – loved Spuntino despite the crazy over-hipsterness of the whole place but Mishkins didn’t quite do it for me!

    • I haven’t been to Sputino yet! I do like Mishkins (for my pastrami and rye fix) but the service I’ve received there has always been pretty “meh” to bad x

  • I’ve not tried Polpo yet but it’s on my list! 🙂 arancini is one of my all-time favourite foods, but I’m quite picky so not sure if these would be for me haha! The meatballs sound fab though, and I love the look of that crab pasta! xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blop

    • I love arancini as well so my biggest negative is that they weren’t big enough. I need more arancini. I need ALL the arancini! x

  • I’m dying to check this out – we went to Spuntino a few months ago which I believe is owned by the same peiple and we LOVED it! I always punt for an Aperol spritz when its on the menu too 🙂

    Sophie Cliff

  • Ala

    The only taster I’ve had of Polpo was a mini blogger gathering last year and it does seem good I have to say, I’ve been meaning to go back ever since! It’s a shame your chicken wasn’t all that, you need to up your game, Sam keeps lucking out with his choices haha! x

    • I know! He’s really been lucking out lately. To be honest, I would have been happy ordering about 4 sides of the chickpea meatballs though 😉 x

  • I’ve never heard of Polpo so I’m intrigued now! Those meatballs sound so good! Since I don’t know the next time I’ll be in London, this has me thinking I need to look up a recipe for a meatball similar to these 🙂

  • I like Polpo and the casual feel of sitting at their bar, I must try those chickpea “meatballs” on your recommendation!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • The chickpea meatballs sounds incredible!

  • Never heard of it, but those prices sound really reasonable! I love me some Italian food too. Apps and cocktails win over full dinners any day as well.

  • Catherine Lux

    I love love love Polpo, but it’s SO hard to get in, I hate having to wait!

    C x | Lux Life

  • Please do! x

  • Go and definitely eat a meatball! x

  • We went to Polpo a few years ago and I have no memory of it because I was too drunk to appreciate it. Jon did not appreciate me on that night. I don’t blame him. I don’t appreciate Drunk Betsy either 🙁

    • I have some many questions about this incident- but mostly – how did you get so drunk before Polpo? (Or was the Polpo spontaneous drunk eating?) x

      • haha it was kind of spontaneous drunk eating – a good friend was one of the chefs there, so Jon and I were out drinking before Jake got off late and then we met him there for a bite (or so I’m told…)