Pasta is pure heaven on a plate and there’s a new spot in town taking the Italian speciality to exciting (and drool-worthy) heights– and we don’t just mean the gooey cheese in their dishes that are stretching to a great height. Recently opening up as a new trader at Exhibition, Onda (meaning ‘wave’ in Italian) is a brand new modern pasta bar from the team behind Gooey. And if you’re fans of their bakes, you’re likely to like this new foodie concept.
The Gooey team has collaborated with Michelin-trained chef Sam Astley Dean, the man behind Rise pizza, to create Onda Pasta Bar. Think Italian flavours we know and love but given a modern twist, including carbonara, lasagne and gnocchi but not necessarily as we know them.
The menu at Onda Pasta Bar features six pasta plates made to share as well as two larger sharer pasta trays for groups to fight over, plus tasty Italian desserts like tiramisu and gelato. Starters consist of fluffy herb focaccia; garlic bread with parsley butter; fritti of lightly fried and battered seasonal veg, Caesar salad with little gem, parmesan and anchovy; short rib arancini; and a whole burrata with fennel pollen and olive oil.
As for the showstopping pasta dishes, you’ll find pici pasta with cacio e pepe with plenty of black pepper and pecorino; wild garlic pesto cavatelli; fettucine alla vongole (clams, white wine, garlic, parsley and chilli); pappardelle with beef cheek ragu, parsley and parmesan; and raviolo with Cornish scallops, crab, fennel and bisque.
However, since it’s from the Gooey team there’s bound to be at least one gooey dish on the menu and it’s Onda’s spaghetti carbonara. Some may describe the Roman classic as a simple dish but when done right (no cream in sight) it is heavenly. As for this one from Onda, it’s finished in front of your very eyes with shavings of pecorino, crispy fried pancetta and a golden egg yolk in the centre ready to run to create a rich sauce.
Onda Pasta Bar also boasts two large pasta sharer trays that really put my homemade pasta bake from the ol’ student days to shame. Choose from the lumache alla vodka with organic tomato, parmesan and ‘nduja or gnocchi gratinati with spinach, mozzarella and pangrattato (crispy bread crumbs), both with flavour-filled sauces and plenty of cheesy string pulls.
But the talk of the town is Onda’s lasagne. Solely served on Sundays, guests can tuck into magnificent slabs of lasagne in flavours such as the classic lasagna al forno featuring beef cheek ragu, organic tomato and parmesan sauce or lasagna blanco with mozzarella, pecorino and black pepper. Each sumptuous slab of lasagne is topped with an absolute mountain of grated parmesan cheese and is served with greens and garlic bread.
For those in a hurry, Onda Pasta Bar also offers an express lunch menu of pici cacio e pepe, foccacia bread, dressed leaves and a soft drink for £10. Book a table here.
Find Onda Pasta Bar at Exhibition, St George’s House, 56 Peter St, M2 3NQ.