The new addition to the gastronomic abundance of London’s world-famous Borough Market; Pulia, is a London restaurant that focuses on the exceptional food, wine and hospitality of which the Southern Italian region of Puglia is renowned for.
The restaurant is light and modern, with a large bar at one end where you can sit, aperitivo in hand, and survey the scene. We sit down at our table which is made from the olive tree wood of Puglia, the lights above us are conical shaped, a nod to the famous trulli houses only found in that region of Italy. It is immediately apparent that love and care has gone into every element of this restaurant, and the warmth and buzz surrounding us suggests an appreciation of that.
The Pulia London Experience
The menu confirms that this is not merely an Italian restaurant, it is a Southern Italian restaurant, with the focus on the regional specialities that are grown and eaten there. Our antipasti plates arrive. First, the sea with a delicious Insalata di Polpo. I am not usually a fan of octopus but this was beautifully soft and tender, combined with small cubes of potato and simply dressed with oil.
Then the Verdure sott’olio e Focaccia Pugliese, the bread of the region baked and studded with vibrant tomato and tiny black olives. Served with artichokes, rich sundried tomatoes, and the whitest aubergines slices I have ever seen. Burrata di Andria con Capocollo completed the regional antipasti course and it was outstanding. I am a lover of burrata which can go very wrong, especially in London. This one exceeded my expectations; silky and soft, melting in the mouth. The Puglian Capocollo ham is from the Calabrian region of Italy, thinly sliced and arranged around this star of this show: the cheese.
We drank a white Italian wine, Fiano, which is from the restaurant’s own vineyards in Southern Italy. The owners go back often and use their own or local producers for every dish on the menu. It really shows.
Next up – mains. The Agnolotti Ricotta & Spinaci were parcels of pasta that, once bit into, revealed the vibrant green spinach combined with cheese, enveloped with the rich tomato sauce that can only come from the best Italian produce. Italians are VERY serious about their tomatoes.
My partner had the Turbante di Orata con verdure which translates as ‘turban’ or ‘scabbard’ fish. It’s a long, thin, delicately flavoured deep-sea fish and, in this case, was filleted and then rolled up, just like a turban and filled with diced vegetables. It came on a carrot velouté and my partner pronounced it delicious. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the Braciola al sugo Pugliese, which I was informed was beef from a breed of grey cattle raised in the regions of southern Italy. Paired with a glass of Primitivo red it fell beautifully apart as soon as I raised the fork to my mouth. Finally, Faticciotto, which was a selection of traditional chocolate and custard filled pastries, too good to miss and much to delight in.
In a nutshell
We left feeling that we had tasted the very best of Italy, better still the often-undiscovered regions of the south with dishes and ingredients not familiar to many of us. The Borough Market setting feels exactly the right place for this restaurant with its mix of world class outlets which straddle the world. I loved the fact that the owners of Pulia London have put so much care and thought into bringing their homeland to London. It shows in every detail of the restaurant. A homage to southern Italy, in all its glory.
To discover more visit: pulia.com
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All imagery courtesy of Pulia London.