Pasta. A dish I normally avoid when eating out. Not because the options don’t look tasty. But solely because I think I could probably make that dish, or something similar, at home. I know what you’re thinking. Look at that cooking ego. But I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
Pasta from a street food stand/van, is usually bottom of my list too – unless it’s quirky and new (i.e. stirred inside a huge cheese). Ok and Mac’n’cheese I count separately as you can’t really compare that to other pasta dishes. It’s my ultimate weakness.
I always think that pasta from somewhere like a street food stand would be made in bigger batches, have been cooking for God knows how long, and served up as and when it’s ordered. Maybe even reheated. But hell was I proved wrong by one of the newest Italian street eateries on the scene, Tomatello.
Located inside Camden Lock Market, along the walkway which goes down behind Shaka Zulu, Tomatello serves up fresh salads, huge pizza slices and homemade pasta made to order.
Having won two free pasta dishes via a competition East London Girl was running on Instagram, the guy behind the counter was soon frying up and tossing together the fresh ingredients. Attention to detail seemed to be key. We even got to taste the sauce and request more salt or pepper. And we were also offered the option of having cheese and herbs stirred in whilst cooking. Which of course is a no brainer! It felt like each dish was personalised!
Both options was served up in a generous portion. Steaming hot and topped with parmesan (optional).
The great thing about street food when it’s sunny is that you can find a nice little hidden spot and enjoy your food al fresco. Which is just what we did – I know a couple of little grassy areas down the back streets of Camden.
The Carbonara, seriously creamy, with tender pieces of ham, crunchy red onion, and a little added cheese, was indulgent and seriously flavoursome. Topping my homemade version, there wasn’t a single piece left. Albeit the last bit my little bro couldn’t manage was finished by Alex!
The Alfredo, a creamy chicken and mushroom pasta, mixed with cheese, was a mind blower. Pulling the fork out to produce a mouthful, the pasta brought with it a trail of melted cheese, as it clung to the rest of the dish. With tender pieces of lightly seasoned chicken and sliced mushroom in almost every mouthful too, it was packed with flavour and textures.
At £7, it’s pretty standard pricing for Camden, although you do finish up stuffed as the portions are pretty generous. For a friendly personalised service too, I don’t think it’s badly priced at all.
Tomatello sure has changed my perceptions on pasta on the street food scene. As mentioned before, they also offer fresh salads made to order too, so I’m sure I’ll be heading back to give something else a whirl – as long as I can tempt myself away from that Alfredo!
Do you order pasta when eating out or is it a dish you tend to avoid?