Pastaio. It means pasta-maker in Italian and making pasta is exactly what they do here. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the whole time pronouncing it wrong when people ask you where you’re going for dinner that week.
It’s a no-bookings style restaurant which serves up plates of handmade pasta with powerful sauces. It’s located just off Carnaby Street in Soho, with a huge large glass front plus a bright, Insta-friendly art mural along the back wall. It comes complete with an open kitchen where you can watch the Pastaio’s at work and rows of communal tables.
Their starters are pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. We opted for the burrata which was served swimming in olive oil and had chilli and oregano sprinkled over it.
As their burrata is incredibly creamy, if not a little too juicy, you’ll need to grab yourself a side of their sourdough bread to help you mop up all that cheesy goodness.
The main event: the crab, chilli, agretti, black & white spaghetti, and now that spring is just around the corner, this is the type of food I long for. It packs a punch and the crab does well to hold it’s own.
Their slow-cooked sausage malloredus keeps the standards high and it’s a brilliant vehicle for another great sauce. It’s a dish comprised of small, striped shells of pasta and the sausage sauce is topped with crust crumbs from the bread – which really cuts through the richness.
To help wash all the carbs down, we ordered the prosecco slushies. Their blood orange one giving me flash blacks to wandering Milan from bar to bar drinking Aperol Spritz.
Would I go back? Most definitely – although I can’t help but feeling that I’m cheating on Padella.
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Pastaio, 19 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 9BN
*Main photo courtesy of Pastaio