Pulia, in London Bridge, is the first UK venture for the Italian brand offering food and wine, artisan products and a sexy collection of Olive Oils.
Just on a side street of Borough Market, is the clean, airy and bright shop, come cafe, come wine bar, come deli etc. During the day, you can grab something to go, eat in, or buy a selection of their meats and cheeses to do-it-yourself. In the evening, if you don’t mind communal dining, you can get cosy with your other half and enjoy simplistic Apulian cuisine.
My friend and I opted for an early evening visit, and were greeted with a quiet space – which is not necessarily a bad thing. I suspect during the day it is busier with office types and visitors to Borough Market. The sit down menu is short and sweet. A selection of starters, two pasta’s and some mains. There is a good mix of salads though, for those who like to keep it light.
To start, we opted for “Pate” and Burrata Heart with crostini. Now when you think of pate, you think of meat/fish smoothed into a terrine. Not here, essentially, it is one of their tapenades, which they also sell by the jar. We went for “Pate” of spicy red pepper. The Burrata heart was served smooth, almost like a thick paste which was excellent, as the serve is to have the crostini, add some “pate”, then this milky, creamy yummy Italian cheese. I love Burrata, and the best I have had so far is still from Amici Miei.
For main course, we had the Veal Meat rolls filled with pork and cheese in a rich tomato sauce and I had the orecchiette with cherry tomato, basic and cheese. Whilst my companion felt the Veal was a little tough, I liked the taste I had. The pasta was not something that you could get wrong, it was al dente the way I like it served. The Veal was partnered with Casonte, a fresh fruit red and my pasta was partnered with Bombino, supple and dry with apple hints like I like it.
As we are patient diners and were up for trying something new, the language barrier for our original waitress was not a huge issue. I would however, say that those in a hurry or less accommodating may find this an issue. There is an expectation that as this is a specialist venue for a particular region, your staff should be able to talk about it and its products confidently. This was not the case to start off with, but the Supervisor (I am assuming), took over and brought it home.
Pulia is great for shopping for artisanal products from Puglia. This place is like an upmarket Carluccio’s, as long as it doesn’t start to appear every square mile and keeps its authentic standards if it should open another one or two.
36 Stoney Street
London SE1 9LB
Tel, 020 7407 8766