I have just got back from holiday, a lovely week sunning myself in the South of Italy, only to find myself wrenched back to normal life, staring out the window from my 6th floor office, into nothing but miles of grey clouds. I know what will cheer me up, some Italian food will surely do the trick.
So off I saunter down the road to Pepe, a new little shop selling "Italian street food". In the window are an array of pizzas, which actually look edible, if far from fresh and pretty overpriced at just under £4 a slice. Along the inside are a few salad and pasta options all priced at a reasonable £3 for a small box, more than enough for a light lunch, and a wide selection of piadina, a sort of folded flat bread filled with a selection of toppings, all for around a hefty £4.50.
Slinking back to my office with one of these boxes and a slice to share, I definitely wasn't getting my hopes up. The farfalle with beans, potato and pesto special was so bland and far from special. After a few bites, the pasta started to cloy and dry out my mouth, and luckily enough, I had split the box with some of the orrechiete with chicken and mushroom, vastly better, but still bordering on just mediocre. The slice of margherita was nice enough, with a decent light base and decent flavour, but again very dry, with far too little tomato sauce. I can imagine these going down easily had they been piping hot and fresh out the oven.
Lunch over. Did Pepe fill me up, I would say yes. Did it remind me of Italy, not really. Pepe is ok and nothing more. Unlike Italy itself, I doubt I will return.
Pepe - 57 St. Martins Lane, WC2N 4EA