For the last two weeks I worked in Piccadilly at a big PC games manufacturer. Being right in the middle of London, so close to Soho and Covent Garden meant that our choice of where to go to lunch was outstanding. Towards the end of my time there we just sort of settled on Whole Foods, but back when I started we tried to find somewhere different to eat every day, and we succeeded. Very rarely, however, did we manage to get a meal within our lunch allowance (my firm gives us £4 a day lunch allowance when we’re out on audits). One of the few days we got close was when we visited &Pasta (no, the ampersand isn’t a miskate). What a brilliant idea. You get a choice of about 15 different types of pasta, and about the same number of sauces, and in total they claim there are more than 250 potential combinations. With every meal you get a slice of focaccia (they have four different varieties of that, too). The pasta ranges from simple to filled, and the sauces from traditional to “gourmet”, and the most you will ever pay is £8.20. In Central London. For a massive bowl of pasta. They also have a baked pasta of the day, which is what I had above. Farfalle with peas and pancetta, a classic combination. The meal of the day costs roughly the same as a simple pasta with a traditional sauce – £4.95. A whole bowl of pasta, plus bread, for under a fiver. Amazing!
The food was delicious. My colleague went for something different, I don’t remember what, but we were both delighted with the fact that you could get such tasty food for such little expense. The customers on Yelp seem to love it too, giving it 4.5 stars so far (not that I look on Yelp). The service was very quick, we were barely waiting 5 minutes before our food came to us, piping hot. I guess when the pasta is fresh you don’t have to wait any longer!
Judging by their website they appear to have the one permanent restaurant/cafe, the one in Soho that we went to, but the also have other locations as well, such as market stalls, all over London. I would not be surprised if they expanded rapidly, and soon. They also sell pasta and other foodstuffs imported from Italy. You know it’s good because it’s where the Italians go! Well worth a visit!