Polpo is a bacaro serving up small Venetian inspired Italian plates designed for sharing and accompanied by classic spritz and cocktails. Polpo prides itself on maintaining the authentic Italian atmosphere and food and it definitely shines through at the Chelsea branch. With only around 35 table covers and a few more at the bar, it felt quite special to get a table! The USP of the Chelsea branch is also its larger L-shaped terrace in Duke of York which would be so perfect for sipping on spritzers in the summer.
The bar and cocktails
We started off with a couple of cocktails at the bar (where you can also enjoy the small plates) which felt very Italian in style. We had the Limoncello Fizz (Wyborowa vodka, Pococello, POLPO Prosecco) and the Clover Club (Beefeater Gin, raspberry syrup, lemon, egg white) which was beautifully presented. There are also a number of spritzers to chose from (obviously)!
The small plates
The menu is split into Cicheti (Venetian Snacks), Pizettes, Meatballs (so many choices!), Meat & Fish and Vegetables and Salad.
We were recommended to have 2-3 each so, given that we were hungry, we ordered 7 (!) but three from cicheti so surely that’s actually only 5…. We starred off with the Nduja & mozzarella arancini, Potato & Parmesan crocchette and Focaccia & olive oil. The arancini was fantastic (I wanted to order more!) and the focaccia was so addictive as it had a perfect level of salt.
Following this we had a Pizzette – Buffalo mozzarella & tomato and, the Spicy Pork & Fennel meatballs which were the dish of the month and extremely flavoursome with a generous helping of sauce and Parmesan.
Lastly we chose the Crab & chilli linguine which really did pack a punch and a dish I would thoroughly recommend and the Squash, gnocchi, blue cheese & walnuts which was actually surprisingly light.
We just about had room for a dessert – a Hot chocolate pudding, blackberry, & vanilla ice cream – which was melt in your mouth good!
Not only was the food delicious but the service was also great, which obviously adds to the experience. The plates are generally priced from around £3 – £10 so you can order as much as or as little as you want depending on your budget!
There are four other branches of Polpo in London – Covent Garden, Soho, Notting Hill and Smithfield – so am looking forward to visiting some of them!
East London Girl: Polpo Chelsea