The siren cry of Papoli hadn’t particularly lured me in, previously, but when I was passing, this evening, I thought I’d pop in and give it a try.
My perception was that it was a little Italian place, but while that’s true, it has a strong Turkish influence, both in the kitchen and on the menu, with a number of Turkish specials dotted among the more traditional Italian staples.
They offer a keenly priced set meal deal for £12.90. There are some options that attract small supplements, but you can quite happily find appealing sounding choices that keep costs suitably restrained.
I chose to start with a lamb shorba soup, then follow with the meaty pizza carne. I was offered either Peroni or Efes beer, reinforcing the Italo-Turkish connection. I opted for the latter.
The soundtrack in the simple setting was strongly towards the eastern Mediterranean, evoking happy memories of beers next to the Bosphorus.
My starter soon arrived, and looked straightforward and hearty. It proved to be really very good, with lovely tender chunks of lamb, in a thick and warmly spiced tomato broth, with little noodles and chickpeas. I was mightily pleased with it.
The pizza that followed was a bit of a mixed bag. I appreciate a broad range of approaches to the pizza base, but this one didn’t find favour with me, proving to be neither one thing nor the other. The topping, however, with a nice range of cured and spiced meats, was tasty.
So overall, I was happy with what Papoli had to offer. The soup was the undoubted highlight. The place had a nice relaxed vibe, with bright and breezy service. The pizza base wasn’t the greatest, so that was a little disappointing, but I left with a full belly, a lightly treated wallet, and a rather pleased expression on my face.
Blythe scores Papoli
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: lamb shorba soup; pizza carne
I drank: Efes, water
I wore: blue
Total bill: £24.40