I must be one of the last foodies to try Polpo. Talk about being late to the party. I’ve walked past Polpo’s original Soho restaurant so many times, meaning to pop in, but just never got round to doing so.

Now, in a way, I’m glad I waited because it feels like the biggest and best Polpo has arrived in Chelsea. There is still the cosy intimate feeling that is familiar with the Polpo brand, with Chelsea’s inside space. But what differentiates this restaurant from the others is the wide outdoor terrace.

I absolutely love the al fresco vibe on Duke of York Square. It’s wonderfully buzzy in the evenings and during the day you feel like hours could drift by and it wouldn’t matter. So it’s great to see the restaurant scene here being expanded. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

As for the menu, Polpo serves up Venetian small plates which are very satisfying indeed. Polpo means  bàcaro, which is a Venetian word used “to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines”. And for simple food in a humble environment, lunch was more than pretty good.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

The OH and I shared the octopus & fennel carpaccio … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Salt cod crocchette … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Fritto misto … (which was easily the best I’ve ever had in London). Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

I had a sneaky lunchtime bellini which I enjoyed whilst thinking I really need to come back for a sundowner. Their cocktail list looks very good. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

We also enjoyed the lamb & new season wild garlic meatballs … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… with some griddled herbed polenta. Recently I’ve started warming to the idea of polenta and I think this dish has won me over as a pasta/rice/potato substitute. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

For dessert, OH had the Nutella pizzetta … (yum, yum)Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… and I had the flourless lemon & almond cake, which was very good but I felt I should have ordered a coffee with it.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road ChelseaAll in all, Polpo is a winner. And I can imagine on a balmy summer’s day, sitting outside on the terrace, it could almost feel like being back in Italy. Perhaps all you’ll need is the sound of church bells to give you that added al fresco piazza feel.

Chelsea Girl

I guess it was quite apt to pop into Buona Sera at the Jam on the King’s Road, just before watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes. To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it until the next day, that sitting in one of their wooden planked booths (elevated on stilts) could seem like I was dining in a tree house.

Unfortunately though, I didn’t make it up the stairs this time. My visit to Buona Sera was impromptu and upon turning up, it was clear to see that they were having a busy night: all the upstairs booths were filled. So we sat downstairs whilst I experienced a bit of tree house envy.

Needless to say, apart from the quirky dining experience, there was of course another reason for eating here: the seafood soup or Zuppa di Mare as it reads on the menu. I love this dish and felt a pang to have it that night.

The bf ordered the Bruschetta with Mozeralla and Ham. There’s a good selection of bruschetta concoctions you can pick from and these guys do them well.

And for main, the bf ordered Spaghetti with Meatballs!

Buona Sera at the Jam is a real local’s favourite. Given that this restaurant doesn’t even have a website and was busy on a Monday night is testimony to that. Admittedly though, the experience is extra special when you’re sitting in one of the upper booths; or is that just the kid in me?

289a King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5EW, 020 7352 8827.

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