Considering Martone is on the street where I work, it’s quite something that I haven’t paid it a visit before now. I remember briefly visiting for coffee a couple of years back, but didn’t linger to eat.
Today, I was working in the west of the city, in the morning, and returned to my east end haunt towards 1.30pm, so was feeling decidedly peckish. A good plate of takeout pasta was the requirement, so Martone fit the bill, nicely.
Upon walking in, I really wasn’t sure how this was going to go. The interior has the feel of a shopping mall food court about it. It seriously lacks elegance and/or refinement, despite the conceptual art bedecking the walls.
I quickly turned my attention to the menu. Essentially, they’ll serve you anything on the menu as takeout, for 20% less than the listed a la carte price. This means that pasta dishes come in at around £5. From the selection, I chose penne al salmone, which promised salmon cooked with rocket, tomato and cream.
Service wasn’t the quickest, as essentially they’re preparing a restaurant dish for takeaway, rather than being particularly set up for fast lunchtime service. The staff were friendly and apologetic when it took a few more minutes than they’d hoped for it to arrive. I wasn’t in a mad rush, so it didn’t unduly bother me.
Safely in receipt of my goods, I headed back to the joys of Friday afternoon in the ivory basement. Upon arrival, I tucked in to my lunch with considerable vigour. The salmon was of the nicely hot smoked variety, giving the dish bags of flavour. The pasta was accurately cooked. The dish could have used a good squeeze of lemon to inject more zing, but it was not half bad.
So the food at Martone seems pretty decent to me. I don’t care for the decor of the place, at all, so you won’t catch me sitting in, but when my lunchtime hunger demands something of the pasta variety, I’d be quite happy to pop back and pick up another tasty dish from their selection.
Blythe scores Martone:
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
2/5 for setting
giving an overall 12/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: penne al salmone
I drank: nothing
I wore: lilac shirt
Total bill: £5