*Visited as a paying customer
*All pictures taken by my talented picture-taking work friend Aaleah Cleo.
If you are a regular (or irregular) reader, or you have visited my Youtube channel recently, you’ll notice my little video about making pasta from scratch. You’ll notice that I didn’t have a rolling pin, which is what I thought was my key mistake. If you are making fresh tagliatelle you need to make that stuff SO THIN before you cook it. A flat-shaped pint glass did not help. As you can imagine after all of the stress here, I was keen to go somewhere they are paid to make the pasta for you, to be honest. We usually go for a Nando’s for our pay day team meal, because it is easy to pay separately, but Pastaio had just opened and a couple of us wanted to give it a try.
Where is Pastaio in Westfield?
If you have been to Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush you’ll be aware of the road all of the restaurants are on. They are all outdoors and are all placed together. If you are not quite sure follow the smell of burgers from Balan’s or the Pasta from Pastaio. There is a long “restaurant strip” at the back of Westfield. You can imagine how convenient it is working opposite, but to be honest even if you are just there shopping, who doesn’t like a little lunch stop? Shopping for make up is quite the occasion for me, might as well make a day of it.
What’s it like inside?
Pastaio is really modern and trendy. They have the table set up a lot of chains/fast food places have where there are long tables you could be sat on with people not from your party, but do you know what? In here, it works. There were two things I really liked: one was that they had a little room in front of the restaurant where you could see all of the pasta being made, which, as someone who recently made a foray into making pasta, was fascinating to me. The second thing was that they sell hoodies and march with various pasta-related slogans on. Let’s face it, if you are in the market for a new bed hoody, a pasta one is a good choice.
What’s on the menu?
One of the things you should know about Pastaio is that all of the pasta is made fresh: so it’s probably not a good place to pop in for a quick lunch. With that being said, for the fact they had to make two gluten-free and one vegan dish we still got our food fairly quickly. I had the 8-hour beef & porcini bolognese with gluten-free penne, and it was really nice. I told my colleague I was going to end up ordering pasta for lunch from here loads and she asked how I knew I’d like it because I hadn’t got it yet but I’d actually spied the mans next to me and it looked incredible. It was delicious. Gluten-free pasta can be a bit chewy to say the least, but I guess it’s a bit better if it is made fresh. A couple of the people I went with had the prawn, chilli and tomato spaghetti and honestly, the prawns were the size of my cat.
What’s the value for money like?
The value for money here is great. We ended up splitting the bill, but had I paid for what I had actually had it would have been £16. One of the things I absolutely LOVE is that they don’t charge extra for gluten-free meals or vegan meals. Because let’s face it, I think all of us with a special dietary requirement are getting pretty fed up now of being charged MORE for food that we can eat without getting unwell.
Pastaio website: https://pastaio.co.uk/
You can’t book ahead so get there a bit before you want to sit down to eat.