This highly celebrated street food stall based in Camden market is no gimmick. You see videos on your Facebook newsfeed all the time of pasta dunked into a grana padano wheel cavity, decadently tossed and turned, served steaming onto a plate looking utterly rich and velvety. Your mouth waters and the cravings begin, but some try and dismiss the phenomenon by suggesting the method is overkill. It is not.
The granular grana or parmesan cheese does not melt the way other cheeses do, disintegrating on the level of individual grains or shavings rather that turning to provolone, gouda or mozzarella ooze. This is why grana padano is traditionally grated onto pastas for texture, or utilised to contribute its famous depth of flavour. What The Cheese Wheel does is particularly clever in that not only do they use hand-rolled pasta tagliatelle that provides for firmer pasta, the mixing of the pasta into the traditional creamy alfredo sauce before stirring it into the grana padano wheel adds to the consistency of the already sumptuous sauce.
You could have the pasta straight out the wheel and still be singing songs of praise. But the possible toppings of smoked sausage, pancetta, bocconcini, amongst others is what makes the stall so addictive and hence so popular. Since the dish takes a little longer to prepare than others in the market, you might want to have a wander by the lock. I would suggest watching the process unfold. The guys prepping your pasta welcome conversation and all-round banter, and just watching them work on your food heightens your appetite to the point where your hunger essentially becomes an enhancing condiment.
If you are intrigued by the magical things happening at The Cheese Wheel, trust the hype and head to Camden Market. It is well worth the trip, again, and again, and again.
Camden Market, London NW1 8AF