I have a real bee in my bonnet.
Please can someone explain to me why it ever seemed a good idea to make restaurants where you aren’t allowed to book a table? I find it so frustrating that you arrange to meet someone for supper, but you never know when you might be allowed to sit down and….shock horror…actually eat something.
These type of restaurants would not be good for a first date scenario – imagine the awkward loitering you have to do whilst in the queue and conversation gets stunted by the fact that you’ve been queuing in the freezing cold for 1 hour and 20 minutes, even though they promised it would be 45 minutes, and your nose has gone numb and quite frankly you’re so hungry you contemplate whether to just bail and head to the local Macdonald’s. Because at least in Macdonald’s you are pretty much guaranteed a seat. After 45 minutes you wonder whether you can bear to stay in the queue and I often think I should leave and go somewhere else, but then those minutes I’ve just spent queuing are utterly wasted and I develop a sort of strange determination to stick it out. I don’t think I would mind so much if you were allowed to pop your name on a list and hop off to the pub around the corner for a drink. But no. You must stand in line so that people walking past see you and think it must be a great place to eat. Grrrr.
But, more often than not after you’ve managed to secure a table, the food is simply delicious and you forget that you’ve lost a few fingers to hypothermia from standing in the queue and the vision of the Big Mac begins to slowly fade from your mind. But, my friends, this, I’m afraid, was not one of those times. I’ve loved the food at Polpo since it opened, but I have to be completely honest with you and say that the food this time was slightly disappointing. Yes I’ve been before, but I leave big enough gaps in between visits to cause me to forget how much the no booking policy infuriates me. See, I told you I had a bee in my bonnet.
But I don’t want to put you off Polpo completely, it is usually completely delicious and I am very willing to put this experience down to someone having a bad day in the kitchen. I have also been given the Polpo cookbook which is beautiful and I’ve made nearly everything in it!
Okay so rant over, let’s have a look at what we had!
Two delicious non-alcoholic elderflower cocktails which were Elderflower, ginger and lemon and which were amazing! Definitely going to be offering these at the next canape event I do!
Then, with it being tapas, we ordered lots of different dishes to share, all of which sounded amazing!
Lamb and mint meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. The tomato sauce was the real star of the show, just like mama used to make!
The star of the show was probably this meltingly tender gnocci that tasted silky and delicious and was covered in a tangy rabbit ragu with black olives and tomatoes. It was really good!
Next was the salmon Pizzette, which was the one I was most looking forwards to, but which was sadly really really salty. I loved the idea though and I think it was just due to someone being a bit heavy handed in the kitchen with the seasoning. I am definitely going to be experimenting with salmon pizzas at home sometime soon, so keep an eye out for a lovely recipe!
Then, being in a restaurant called Polpo, which means Octopus in Italian, we couldn’t not plump for the octopus dish. Only I slightly wish we hadn’t…The octopus was a little chewy, and the borlotti beans were really lacking in seasoning and the treviso leaves were incredibly bitter and hard to eat. Sorry to be so critical, as you know I normally gobble everything in sight, so if I can’t finish a dish…
To finish we had a fantastic tiramisu which was rich and creamy and simply delicious.
I think perhaps Polpo were just having a bad day – as to top it all off, we were seated at the bar and as the barmaid was cleaning glasses, she mistakenly thought a glass of milk was empty and thrust it a little too vigorously into the sink, accidentally spraying my friend with milk! Pretty funny, but kind of sums up our experience! Will I go back? Probably in about 8-10 months when I’ve forgotten all about the agony of their no booking policy.