Da Polpo…the newest kid on the block.

If you’re a twitter obsessed foodie or even a foodie obsessed twitterer and you live anywhere near London you can’t have missed the Russell Norman shaped whirlwind that has hit soho in the last couple of years. His restaurant dynasty has grown from Polpo, opened in 2009, to include Polpetto (2010) and Spuntino, which opened earlier this year to rave reviews! And only last week the newest kid, Da Polpo, arrived on the block! As addicted to twitter as I am, I was unbelievably excited to be in the right place (on twitter) at the right time, when @polposoho announced that Da Polpo was opening earlier than expected and 50% off bookings were being taken for bank holiday Monday! I dropped everything and dialled the reservation line continously until I got through…I’m a stubourn bugger and once I’d got the idea in my head I was not going to give up without a fight!

I eventually got through and secured a table for 2 for 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday, late enough to have recovered fully from any kind of hangover a bank holiday Sunday may have produced 🙂 I wasn’t even entirely sure who I was going to take at this stage but hey, worst case scenario, I’m sure I could always eat enough for two!

Da Polpo’s exterior was pretty unassuming and I nearly walked straight past but once through the doors the recognisable Polpo quirkiness and ever-friendly service was very apparent. We were actually greeted by Russell himself and given the guided tour of both floors before deciding to settle upstairs.

I think between us, me and my chosen foodie, Owen, are probably the most indecisive people ever…the main problem being that we love food…all of it! We asked our waiter for some assistance and then went with everything he recommended…not too much pressure on the poor man on his first day 😉

First up we had arancini…

which are basically risotto balls coated in crispy breadcrumbs. These ones had the most amazing gooey centre…

Next up, one of their trademark dishes…pizzette. We opted for the white anchovy, olive and basil…

I loved it but Owen thought the strength of the anchovy overpowered the other ingredients a bit too much…saying that, he still managed to wolf it down 😉

The Da Polpo menu is a bit more relaxed in style than it’s older brothers Polpo and Polpetto and includes a special meatball section. Again we asked for our waiters preference and hung on his every word, ordering these spicy pork and fennel beauties…

accompanied by a heritage tomato salad. The following photograph may look like a mere bowl of tomatoes…but man! even their tomatoes were a taste sensation!…

However the piece de resistance for me was the chilli and garlic prawns…

We savoured every last morsel, asking for extra bread to mop up the delicious garlic, chilli oiliness left behind so as not to waste a single drop! I have a feeling we could have killed a vampire at 50 feet afterwards but they were most definitely worth the risk…nothing a packet of chewing gum couldn’t fix!

Finally we chose an affogato al caffe each…a shot of espresso poured over a single scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream…

The perfect end to an amazing meal! The 50% off was of course an added bonus, however we both loved the meal and agreed that we would have happily paid full price for such delicious food and friendly and accomodating service. I for one will be returning very very soon!

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