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Traditional Italian Pasta Joint Al Dente – Review
FOOD

Traditional Italian Pasta Joint Al Dente – Review

Authentic pasta restaurant Al Dente has recently opened their second London location in Monument Square. The names a bit of a giveaway, Al Dente serves up fresh, handmade Italian pasta every day from two casual dine-in / grab and go locations in the city. There’s no table service at the Monument Square Al Dente, and it’s a little smaller than the Goodge Street branch at just 50 square metres with 12 seats inside and 12 more outside for when it’s sunny.

I visited at lunchtime on a Wednesday right in the middle of the lunch flow where the cheerful staff greeted me, and there seemed to be regulars chatting in Italian (always a good sign). You queue up to order at the counter, and you’re given a number which is then called out once your food is ready – this operation was running smoothly, and no one was waiting long at all for their food.

The menu boasts a selection of antipasti, including Bruschetta, Caprese Salad and Burrata, and other Italian favourites from the oven, Aubergine Parmigiana, and Lasagne are available to order. The main event is the array of pasta on offer though, a large selection of Linguine, Ravioli, Gnocchi, and more are all available in regular or large portion sizes. Al Dente prides itself on offering Italian pasta dishes done properly. Favourites available on the menu include the classic Carbonara, freshly prepared Fusilli al Pesto, and the indulgent Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi, with each Potato Dumpling lathered in Taleggio, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, and Pecorino. Or how about the house dish? Ravioli Al Dente, where every ravioli is infused with Spinach and filled with sweet and savoury Ricotta, Mushroom, and Truffle Fondue.

I ordered the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – a dish I’ve been meaning to try for a while! Tonnarelli is essentially spaghetti but thicker, and cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper. It sounds like a simple sauce, but the staff explained that the sauce needs to be brought together at 55 degrees in order to achieve the right consistency. The sauce to pasta ratio was perfect, and as you would expect, the pasta was perfectly Al Dente – I had some leftover sauce and was offered a slice of bread to mop it up with.

The staff were attentive to everyone in the space, checking on the seated customers, and everything was spotlessly clean – the staff were wiping down after each cover and sweeping the floor. All takeaway dishes from Al Dente are served up in eco-friendly packaging, which I think is important for a grab and go spot. Considering this was a quick grab and go lunch, I left feeling full and looked after. The pasta was the best I’ve had in a while, and I was offered an espresso to go as I left. It’s certainly worth stopping off here for a quick lunch if you’re around London Bridge / Monument.

Address: Unit 2, Providian House 16-18 Monument Street, London, EC3R 8AJ

Website: www.pastificioaldente.com 

Written by Lenny Wright

#Italian #eastlondon #mounment #aldente #pasta

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