Cast your mind back to a time when the weather was fine enough for an alfresco dinner. On a warm Smithfield evening, Mr Flavour and I were invited to sample the delights of Polpo and they certainly lived up to our expectations. Seated at our outdoor table with chilled glasses of prosecco, we remembered how it felt to fall in love with Venetian cooking.

In true Venetian style, the deliciously humble dishes are well proportioned and made for sharing. The stuffed fried olives popped with salty goodness and the gooey nduja and mozzarella arancini balls would make for a satisfying meal by themselves. Hungry for more delightful simplicity, we enjoyed a classic pizzette with buffalo mozzarella, basil and a perfectly tangy tomato sauce. We were both satisfied and set up for more Italian treats.


Nothing sings Venice like a fritto misto. Polpo’s crispy heap of hearty seafood took our taste buds on a Gondola trip to the next course. A crab and chilli linguine ticked our pasta boxes with a piquant creaminess which beautifully complimented the crustacean. A juicy meatball of spiced pork and fennel left us with barely enough room for dessert. However, Tiramisu has a magical means of conjuring up an appetite. A heavenly blend of fresh whipped cream played well with the moistened boozy sponge. A fitting finale to a masterpiece of a meal.


Overjoyed by our experience, we planned another trip to Venice. For those seeking friendly service, rustic charm and delightfully authentic Venetian cuisine a little closer to home, we’d wholeheartedly recommend a short holiday to Polpo. That’s amore!

Polpo, 3 Cowcross St, Clerkenwell,  EC1M 6DR 

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