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41 Beak Street, London, United Kingdom
020 7734 4479

Polpo London Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Nice food- shame about the service May 18, 2011
I didn’t like Polpo very much, but it will take a while to explain why not.

I will start with the positives.  The food tastes excellent.  I’m told that they are aiming for Venetian – it was just like Italian tapas – and was great.  The plates are small, because they are meant to be tapas for sharing, but made with great ingredients.  I was particularly impressed with the monk’s beard (!) risotto and the fennel salad.  Whatever else, the food is right.  And although it is at the pricier end of the market, charging for a tapas sized dish what I would normally pay for a full sized main course, that wasn’t excessive for the quality.  I wouldn’t pay it all the time, but for a treat it would have been fair enough (as it was, a friend treated me).  So, great food at a not insane price – what’s not to like?

Everything else. 

The head waitress – sorry, the maitre d – could not have made it any clearer that she was above the clientele.  If her nose had been any higher in the air she’d have fallen over backwards, and she showed no interest in anything other than patrolling around with her clipboard.  The clipboard is necessary because tables are first come, first served, and they will not even consider giving you a table until your whole party has arrived so if someone is late, you all wait at the bar.  They will serve you food at the bar, but you can’t sit down unless they have allocated you a seat there.  The waiting staff are OK, apart from the maitre d, but very young and a little hard to get their attention. 

This is mostly because of the music.  I realise that we were sitting right under a speaker, but it was deafening.  In a cozy restaurant where the emphasis is on sharing dishes, you shouldn’t be setting the music at too loud to speak to each other.  After three requests, they turned it down a microscopic amount and told us that other people liked the music.  I bet they hadn’t actually asked anyone, though.  Although there was quite a fashionable crowd in, so I could be wrong.


All in all, I doubt I’ll go back.  I know restaurants are meant to be about the food, and that is excellent.  But they need nicer staff and a nicer atmosphere
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