Russell Norman has taken the London restaurant scene by storm, and Polpo is his biggest success story. Now with nine branches found in London, Brighton and even Leeds, his relaxed Venetian cuisine is becoming more familiar across the country.
This month Polpo launches the weekend brunch menu, available in all the venues from 10am-12.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. I visited the Soho restaurant to try out the new Italian dishes. Soho was quiet, despite the big Pride celebrations commencing later that day. We were the first at Polpo and I relished the opportunity to photograph the restaurant empty in the dappled morning light.
I was tempted to indulge with a breakfast bellini, but was sensible and opted for a strong flat white and fresh orange juice to wake me up. The menu is brief but features unique morning dishes that I hadn’t seen elsewhere before. Brunch pizzetta with Italian salsiccia, wild mushroom, Parmesan and a soft egg is a must. Once you get over the fact that you are essentially eating pizza for breakfast, it will delight with a lovely combination of subtly seasoned thick salami with mushrooms and eggs on a flaky, freshly baked dough base. Wild garlic, mushrooms and ricotta on toasted sourdough was nice too, though the unsteady pile of mushrooms rather drowned the other flavours… I would have liked more toast and creamy ricotta.
Polpo also offer buttery pastries and granola, for a lighter continental breakfast. But if you fancy something sweet I recommend ordered the ricotta doughnuts and cinnamon sugar, the perfect sweet treat to finish your Venetian brunch.
More information on Polpo brunch menu and bookings here.