per­fect pasta

Chef Ste­vie Parle opens Pas­taio at Gi­ant Ro­bot to test the Wharf’s wa­ter

The Wharf - - Front Page - Florence Der­rick

On a Thurs­day lunchtime, Gi­ant Ro­bot Ca­nary Wharf is abuzz with of­fice work­ers on the hunt for a quick rooftop lunch. The lat­est stall to join the party, which launched in late Novem­ber, is Pas­taio.

Chef Ste­vie Parle is no stranger to street food, hav­ing made his name with the 2008-9 Move­able Kitchen project.

Pas­taio at Gi­ant Ro­bot is an off­shoot of his Soho pasta restau­rant of the same name, and the Ca­nary Wharf branch of Street Feast is a test ground for the chef’s po­ten­tial plans to ex­pand his em­pire on the es­tate.

“I’d like to do a bricks and mor­tar restau­rant at some point in Ca­nary Wharf,” he said.

“So it’s nice to get a bit of a fol­low­ing here and suss out the sit­u­a­tion with De­liv­eroo and click and col­lect.”

Both the Soho and Gi­ant Ro­bot Pas­taio restau­rants have launched an on­line pre-pay click-and-col­lect take­away ser­vice, as well as a De­liv­eroo ac­count, to co­in­cide with the Ca­nary Wharf launch.

So what can din­ers ex­pect to find on the menu?

“As with the orig­i­nal Pas­taio in Soho, all the pasta is fresh and made here,” said Ste­vie.

“The good thing about it is we can of­fer great value be­cause pasta in it­self is a cheaper prod­uct.

“You’re re­ally get­ting to eat the best things you pos­si­bly can for not much money, which is nice.

“The menu is made up of the best dishes we do in Soho. There’s the slow-cooked sausage sauce – we cook Ital­ian sausages down for hours with toma­toes and red wine, then mix that with Sar­dinian mal­lored­dus pasta (£8.50).

“Then we do a re­ally sim­ple but per­fect riga­toni with tomato sauce, slow-cooked for a long time (£6.50).

“Wild mush­room casarecce is al­ways su­per pop­u­lar (£11) as is the ca­cio e pepe (£8.50), which has got quite a cult fol­low­ing. Ours is with bu­ca­tini [spaghetti-like pasta with a hole in the mid­dle], pecorino cheese and a re­ally spicy and aro­matic black pep­per.

“For an­tipasti, we’ve got a re­ally sim­ple bur­rata with toma­toes (£8.50); speck, which is a smoked, pressed prosci­utto ham (£3.50); and deep-fried moz­zarella with ’nduja honey (£7).

“Then we’ve got Prosecco slushies for a fun boozy drink.”

Prove­nance of in­gre­di­ents is just as im­por­tant at the new Pas­taio as in Ste­vie’s six other en­deav­ours, with the chef count­ing on his long-term sup­pli­ers to come up with the goods.

“I’ve been cook­ing in Lon­don for 15 years so I’ve had re­ally long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with pro­duc­ers and farm­ers,” he said.

‘‘ The meat is from York­shire, the bur­rata is from Puglia, the semolina is from Lazio, the spelt and rye that we put in the pasta is from Nor­folk

Ste­vie Parle, Pas­taio

“Which means we get great value and great qual­ity.

“The meat is from York­shire, the bur­rata is from Puglia, the semolina is from Lazio, the spelt and rye that we put in the pasta is from Nor­folk.

“The mush­room dish is the most ex­pen­sive on the menu be­cause there’s a guy out there for­ag­ing for the wild mush­rooms.”

There’s been a high turnover of restau­ra­teurs in Pas­taio’s Gi­ant Ro­bot spot.

What can Ste­vie of­fer to make Pas­taio stand the test of time?

“We have our own fol­low­ing al­ready, and a strong enough brand and pres­ence to bring peo­ple here just for us,” he said.

“There have been some great oper­a­tors in that spot though, so we’ll have to see how it goes.”

Ei­ther way, the chef is ex­cited about the lo­ca­tion.

“It’s a lit­tle bit of a se­cret gar­den here, not every­one knows about it,” he said.

But if his new­est pasta out­post takes off as well as it did in Soho, that won’t last.

Chef Ste­vie Parle is ex­cited abut the launch of Pas­taio at Gi­ant Ro­bot

MATT GRAYSON

The pasta is all fresh at Pas­taio with all dishes cre­ated on site

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