#8 – Italy – Polpo, Smithfields

 

EatFIFA’s 8th outing saw Sebb’s faithful followers visiting Italy (not really, just ended up dining at an Italian restaurant). Italy currently lie 6th in the Fifa world rankings, despite making their way to the European cup final. Italy are well represented in London, thanks to Italy being world renowned for being great producers of food. For EatFIFA’s latest outing, the decision was made to permit attendees to suggest restaurants to visit. Italy’s representation for EatFIFA thus fell onto the shoulders of Polpo in Smithfields.

Our visit kicked off in Polpo’s very own downstairs bar, where such delights as Gin Fizz, Dark & Stormy and Moscow Mule are served in an intimate setting. The lights are turned so low, that you can just make out the glow of the light bulb filament. Despite barely being able to see anybody, the cocktails were fantastic. The Gin Fizz dare i say, was more refreshing than the classic Gin & Tonic.

After a few drinks we made our way back to the ground floor to be seated at our table. The waitresses at Polpo are without the doubt the best EatFIFA has encountered to date. The refreshing honesty of our first waitress telling us that we will get wet if it rains as there is a leak in the ceiling, made it perfectly ok. The atmosphere in Polpo is excellent. They don’t try to cram too many people in, making the chitter chatter from other tables pleasant, rather than too loud/invasive. Music was also very good. Polpo got off to a very good start (if you disregard the bit about getting wet if it rains, despite being inside).

Before the food was ordered, something more important had to be done. EatFIFA had its first cap to present to its first two members to attend 5 events.

Time to eat. With a crowd of 6 this month, a collective decision was made to order as many dishes as possible and to share everything, as and when brought to the table. We started with a lovely selection of olives and some grilled focaccia. This was accompanied by a Buffalo plate. A delightful plate of Italian cured meats and some fresh mozzarella to top it off. This was quickly followed up by Calf’s liver with sweet onions and some potato & parmesan crocchetta and Summer pea & speck crostino.

If I had to cite one flaw with Polpo, then it would be this; the portion sizes are not particularly big. Don’t get me wrong, the food was very good indeed – they could just give you a little more of it.

We followed up the selection of starters with linguine vongole, cuttlefish & ink risotto and the Octopus & potato salad – all of which were excellently prepared. One EatFIFA attendee opined that the Octopus was cooked to perfection due to its ‘lovely smooth texture. Overcook it and it turns in to a bit of rubber.’ All in all the food was magnificent, but the best was yet to come.

Normally the majority of the EatFIFA crowd skip dessert. Not this time. We had the awesome line up of:

                       Baked Peach, amaretti cream

           Tiramisu pot                  Strawberry & pistachio gelato cake

                                   Affogato al caffe

                                  Chocolate Salami

The line up of desserts had everyone’s saliva glands working overtime. The Tiramisu = wow wee. The strawberry & pistachio gelato cake, despite its hardness, contained such an incredible flavour. Don’t even get me started on the baked peach with amaretti cream…….. The chocolate salami, despite sounding a bit rank, turned out to be a very good rocky road in the shape of a salami.

So…. The scores. How did Polpo do? Has it done enough to finally knock Spain from the top spot after 7 months?

 Food 76.8

Drink 64.6

Service 76.6

Atmosphere 72.8

Value For Money 64

SCORE: 70.96

 

Polpo has propelled itself to the top of the EatFIFA chart, once and for all knocking Spain from their pedestal. The food and drink lived up to the wonderful food Italy is renowned for. When you infuse that food with a great soundtrack that was pumping out of Polpo’s speakers, then inevitably it was a no brainer. £45 a head which includes pre drinks, starter, main, desert, a cocktail to accompany the dinner and 2 bottles of wine. All in all great value for money – lets just work on our portion sizes, yeah Polpo?

Congratulations to Italy and Polpo.

Cheers!

EatFIFA.

(*September’s FIFA rankings pending)

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