REVIEW: Passo, Shoreditch
WHAT? An all-day Italian restaurant offering incredibly good brunch plates and desserts, not to mention cocktails – crucially, within stumbling distance of Old Street tube station in Shoreditch.
You’d be forgiven for walking right by Passo, distracted by the bright lights and busy traffic of Old Street roundabout – but a peek through the huge glass windows past thick curtains shows a cavernous space, with pizza ovens churning out super fresh dough, dozens of wooden tables and grandiose high ceilings, hung with gorgeous wicker lampshades.
Here the focus is seasonal produce and homemade creations, so a visit might see you try a ‘Shoreditch chopped salad’ or a plate of truffle tagliatelle. Our visit took place at brunch time, happily allowing us to try small and large plates, plus an overly-indulgent dessert (natch).
There are breakfast pizzas topped with the likes of egg, spinach and mushroom, then the obligatory avocado on toast. Less obvious is wild boar ragu smothered on toast with Parmigiano, or the ‘Build Your Own Breakfast’, taking in Italian sausage meats, bufala, pancetta and smoked salmon.
We opted for the colourful Shakshuka, served up in a burning hot iron skillet with added n’duja. Tomatoes bright and flavoursome, meat thick and spicy, it was cooked just so, golden eggs poking through a deliciously seasoned sauce (check the Insta likes if you don’t believe us).
Vegans are well catered for, the likes of green artichokes in green sauce or the Passo Veggie (sans egg and buffalo cheese) providing interesting options. You can choose from a small menu of pizzas, too, with dipping sauces like herb aioli and salsa verde to soak in every last crumb of soft dough.
ANYTHING ELSE? Being an essential part of brunch these days, it’s worth knowing that the cocktails are done well. Recommended by our helpful waiter, we tried the adventurous ‘Green Hot Chilli Peppers’, mixing Jalapeno-infused Mezcal, blood orange liquor, lemon and lime for a punchy finish. Next, a much-needed Aloe La Lola to cool the tongue – a mild blend of gin, aloe vera, lemon and soda.
Dessert, if you can finish it, should not be missed. Fried ricotta ravioli and Panettone French toast offer Italian twists on beloved classics, though on our visit, a variation on a crispy Nutella pancake won out. Defeated, we just about rolled home, with talk of recommending the place to friends. Considering a hip brunch spot close to some of the best bars and clubs in East London, we can think of no better.
DETAILS: 0203 883 9377 / email@example.com / 80 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ