Looking for a pasta restaurant? Read our review of Officina 00, or check out our guide to the best pasta restaurants in London here.
A cool pasta spot bringing a warm taste of the Med to Old Street roundabout, in East London.
What’s the vibe?
The brains behind the business are Elia Sebregondi (former head chef of Bone Daddies) and Enzo Mirto (an architect-turned-restaurant owner), so it’s only fitting that the design is slick and modern. Emerald green tiles line the open kitchen, with a few high bar stools for people to get in on the action, otherwise, it’s rustic school chairs and wooden tables for two. Pasta is made fresh daily, with a small spot at the front where chefs dip in and out of kneading, rolling and shaping in front of diners.
What’s the food like at Officina 00?
Italian classics from each region are given a modern twist, be it crumbled tarallo (a southern Italian savoury breadstick) atop burrata or cacio e pepe-filled deep-fried ravioli. All dishes are designed for sharing, and between two it’s best to order a couple of snacks, a small plate and two bowls of pasta (leaving room for tiramisu). Start with gooey aubergine croquettes, spiked with ‘nduja and topped with a sheet of ricotta salata, a final drizzle of honey giving a floral sweetness.
Pasta comes al dente (although some might find it a little on the thick side), so if you like things lighter order gnocchi. Gooey dollops of melted gorgonzola cling onto pillows of soft pumpkin, all soaking up a nutty sage brown butter. It’s a comforting cuddle in a bowl. Corzetti (a thinly rolled, round pasta shape, stamped with a decorative design) traditional of north-west Italy is topped with an umami kick of bouncy wild mushrooms and crumbled fennel sausage.
If you don’t want your ravioli fried, there’s a silky one bursting with a golden yolk and shavings of pungent winter truffle. It’s hard dish to share, so be on the safe side and order one each.
Tiramisu is given a fruity makeover. Savoiardi are given a short dip in Cointreau before being dolloped with fluffy mascarpone, and topped with candied orange. It’s as boozy as it gets, so think of it as a dessert and apéritif in one.
And the drinks?
Start with a spritz. A fiery concoction of prosecco, Lillet and ginger beer is gentle enough to sip all night, or keep things classic with an Aperol. Wines are exclusively Italian, with four available on tap. The Sicilian Nero d’Avola is a fresher red than many, with peppery undertones, while the citrus-scented Laguna Secca chardonnay offers orange notes.
Pasta is the star, so bulk up on the bigger plates.
Photographs by Joe Woodhouse