Padella Pasta, Borough Market

On a Saturday afternoon, few places in London are as buzzy as the Borough Market.

A must-see for any resident or visiting foodie, the London mecca of all things food is the place to go for top-rated ingredients, delicious bakery goods and any cheese-related quest.

And if you’re in the area, you have to stay for dinner.

With some of London’s finest restaurants just round the corner, it’d be rude not to!

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

Padella, a little pasta bar just off the main road, is the latest addition to the market’s bustling restaurant offering.

And a very popular addition it is, with crowds happily queuing up for platefuls of the best hand rolled pasta to be found this side of the Alps.

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

Lined with marbled counters & lit by understated designer lamps, the place itself is a bit of an Instagram dream.

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

If pans, pots and a nice bit of pasta cooking is more your thing, there’s plenty of that to salivate over as well…

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

There’s a short but perfect formed, seasonally changing menu to choose from while breathing in the delicious aromas of browning butter and rich, beefy ragu coming from the open kitchen.

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Burrata comes topped with green, slightly bitter Puglian olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

Quite simply a cream-y dish!

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

The Taglierini with slow cooked tomato sauce is the house’s speciality, and one I thoroughly recommend.

But you really can’t go wrong.

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Pici with marjoram and golden garlic.

Rustic, hand-rolled pasta, swimming in herb-y butter and heaped with fresh parmesan, it’s a proper Italian treat.

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu.

Rich, yet surprisingly light and incredibly satisfying.

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

And a couple of scoops of salted caramel ice cream to finish things off because, well, SALTED CARAMEL!

Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

Serving simple, perfectly executed Italian pasta dishes, Padella is anything but a pasta im-pasta, so join the queue and make sure you bring your favourite person along…

Not only will you get to try twice as many dishes, but it’ll also make the wait time pasta away quicker!

Padella, 6 Southwark St, Borough Market, SE1 1TQ

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Padella Pasta, London | Cake + Whisky

Padella Pasta, Borough Market

The Barbary, Neal’s Yard

Located at the heart of Covent Garden in iconic Neal’s Yard, The Barbary is one of London’s hottest restaurants right now.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

No surprise there, if you consider the fact that it’s a no-reservation, 22-seater type of restaurant, and of course there’s the fact that it’s the sister restaurant to hyper-popular Palomar…

The Barbary, London | Cake + WhiskyThe Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Though if you go for lunch on a Sunday, you might just get one of those precious 22 seats without having to queue at all, just saying!

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I really have a thing for bar-eating, and the whole restaurant being built around a central kitchen, making a meal at The Barbary a really fun and interactive experience.

Because nothing makes for a better meal than debating all the menu options with the chef, right?!

The Barbary, London | Cake + WhiskyThe Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Except of course for some beautiful drinks!

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

The restaurant takes inspiration from the Barbary Coast, the area settled by the Berbers in the Atlas Mountains (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya).

So no matter what you order, you’ll end up with a table full of beautiful, colourful dishes.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Starting with an excellent version of one of my favourite dishes in the entire world: sweet and (very) smokey Baba Ghanoush.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Zhug, Harrissa, Burnt & Pickled Chilli. 

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

A vibrant selection of spicy & zingy dips, with hot & pickled chillis and the cutest (and most delicious) baby pickled aubergine.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

With a soft, sesame-covered Jerusalem Bagel to mop it all up.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Plus some Naan e Barbari.

Because more bread is always a good idea, especially when each and every dish comes drizzled with some of delicious sauce/dressing!

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

As soon as you finish a plate, a new one miraculously appear in its place.

Much like eating at Hogwarts, but with much more tahini.

That said, tahini on the side of Tabouleh? Life-changing!

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Cauliflower Jaffa Style, with tomato pulp and yet more tahini…

The Barbary, London | Cake + WhiskyThe Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Punchy Monkfish Chermoula with beautifully charred, meaty pieces of monkfish marinated in herbs, lemon, cumin and garlic, served with tahini (!!) yoghurt and a generous spoonful of spicy harissa.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Followed by the most delicious Chicken Msachen.

Moist and tender chunks of chicken, topped with sumac and served with sweet onions and labneh. It might not sounds like much, but it was a winner across our table bit of the bar.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

The Daily Specials are also well worth exploring, as this really succesful Pork Adobo skewer proved on our visit.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Just make sure you save a tiny bit of room for dessert though, because the dessert menu is short, but really quite sweet!

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Hashcake. No, not that kind, you naughty!

This wonderful pistachio and honey tart of sorts is the chef’s take on New York’s famous crack pies, and are just as addictive!

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Basbousa, an Egyptian semolina cake with orange blossom syrup, almond slivers and a cheeky side of crème fraîche.

The Barbary, London | Cake + WhiskyThe Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

Both made even better with a side of Halva (a sesame base fudge-y confectionary) ice cream.

The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

With a menu showcasing the diversity and reflecting the rich culinary traditions of the countries from the Atlantic Coast through to the Mediterranean Sea leading to Israel, The Barbary tells a story of trade, travel and culture.

Some history, a little bit of romance and a Kitchen Bar, The Barbary is a little holiday at home.

Take a peak at the menu on the website, and go hungry!

The Barbary, 16 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP

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The Barbary, London | Cake + Whisky

The Barbary, Neal’s Yard