Pastaio restaurant in London’s Soho is a small but vibrant spot serving fresh pasta and lots of other Italian treats for very affordable prices. Located on Ganton Street in the Carnaby area, it’s a short walk from Oxford Circus station, which means that the yummy pasta they serve is very easy to get to!
The menu in Pastaio is simple: for mains, there’s just pasta, and for starters and desserts there’s a small assortment of Italian treats, such as creamy burrata and tiramisu (of course!). The pasta menu has eight different kinds of pasta, as well as few specials which change all the time.
Make sure to check the specials out from the blackboard when you visit – I didn’t realise they were there, and ended up only seeing them after I’d already ordered, which was a shame as they actually sounded really tasty as well!
The decor in Pastaio is a mix of modern and cosy – it’s a small space which helps with the feel of intimacy, and there are little flickering candles on every table. The tables are marble – a nice Instagrammable touch! – and the back wall is filled with colourful, almost psychedelic, shapes. It might sound like a bit too much, but it really works – there’s just the right amount of everything and the overall impression feels really balanced.
I ordered these sourdough bread pieces to start with which were lovely, though perhaps a bit too hard to bite into. I liked the slightly charred flavour, but I do like my bread a bit softer so I’m not sure if I would order these again.
Being in a pasta restaurant, I, of course, had to order an Aperol Spritz. No regrets – it was so tasty!
I went for the rigatoni with slow-cooked tomato sauce and marjoram and I really enjoyed it. The tomato sauce was sweet and fresh and the pasta was cooked to perfection – just the right amount of chewy. The dish was perfectly sized and left me very full indeed, but only cost £6.50 – a bargain!
My dinner date Daria ordered the Cacio e Pepe which made both of us miss our respective trips to Rome (cacio e pepe is basically the city’s national dish!). The pasta consisted of pecorino cheese and black pepper – simple and effective. I asked Daria what she thought of her dish and she said though it was slightly different to the one she’d had in Rome, she still really loved it!
You can find Pastaio restaurant at 19 Ganton Street in Soho, central London – enjoy!
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