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REVIEW: Popolo, Shoreditch

REVIEW: Popolo, Shoreditch

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WHAT? A tiny, minimal open kitchen peddling a rainbow of tapas-style Moorish, Italian and Spanish dishes.


WHERE? Bang in the middle of buzzing Rivington Street – but stepping inside, it feels like a well-kept secret. Just a few months ago, a takeaway shop stood in this very spot. Now an L-shaped bar makes for an intimate dining experience, face-to-face with the proud chef – and it’s clear to anyone listening that his job is a labour of love.

#scallop

A photo posted by Popoloshoreditch.com (@popoloshoreditch) on

WHAT? We began with what’s fast becoming a signature dish at Popolo – golden, fried olives and crunchy chickpeas on a swirl of labne. Fresh and unusual, it lived up to our host’s heartfelt recommendation alongside some salty Pardon peppers. Next, a lip-blackening risotto nero, the ink packed with real flavour and plenty of tender squid peppered throughout.

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Meltingly soft octopus chunks were served up on slices of potato, a warm and comforting dish contrasting with the sharp, tasy Bagna cauda – romanesco, carrots and violeta artichoke served in a punchy anchovy sauce. Pasta is made fresh on-site, too – try the grouse cappelletti, drizzled in porcini butter.

Save room for the dinky desserts too – the likes of flourless chocolate cake, burnt honey panna cotta and twice-baked almond biscuits perfect for rounding off the evening with a strong cup of fresh coffee.

Puntarelle alla romana… #autumnsalad #vegetables #italiankitchen

A photo posted by Popoloshoreditch.com (@popoloshoreditch) on

HOW MUCH? Taster plates are between £3.50-4,50, vegetable plates around £7. Meat, fish and seafood dishes like the signature pulpo (octopus, paprika & saltwort) will set you back about £9-10. We recommend three, perhaps four plates per person if you’re really starving.

WEBSITE: Popoloshoreditch.com

ADDRESS: 26 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DU

Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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