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!
You can find Polpo in Soho, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Covent Garden, and Smithfield.
Have you been before? Thoughts?