Greetings from your pasta correspondent, reporting for duty (again). This week finds me in the fairy-lit marina of St Katherine’s Dock, which used to be something of a wasteland, but is now dotted with slick bars and restaurants. One of these is the tiny Emilia’s Pasta.

It’s fair to say I didn’t have high hopes; a recent experience at another venue which also makes its own fresh pasta left me disappointed (lukewarm food, mediocre flavours). But here, I was almost instantly converted. The Genoese chef, Simone, and owner Andrew Macleod have concocted an almost scientifically precise menu (they’ve even studied how long different pasta shapes need to be cooked for, for the best al dente bite).

Their cute, handwritten-style menu is short and to the point, much like Franco Manca’s is with pizza, and my friend and I start with the intriguing-sounding parmesan balls with balsamic glaze [£3.75]. These are basically hot little balls of happiness: deep-fried cheese which melts in the mouth. A mound of creamy, milky burrata [£5.25] comes with toasted, chewy Pugliese bread – then it’s on to the main event.

My mate was gutted to hear they’d run out of pancetta, so he couldn’t have bucatini carbonara, but was soothed by a slow cooked Bolognese enriched by béchamel sauce, an interesting and comforting variation, served on slithery papardelle [£8.50]. I loved the meaty flakes of yellowfin tuna with pepperoncino and tomato sauce on rigatoni [£9.50] and we both wolfed down the lamb, parsley and parmesan ravioli in a light butter and sage sauce [£8.75].  A moreish dish of casarecce with homemade pesto, parmesan and pecorino showed they get the basics right, too. Joyously, everything arrives smothered in grated parmesan, which for me is essential.

A side of rocket salad with lemon oil and bresaola was pronounced delicious, too [£6.75]. They’d also run out of lemon and polenta cake for dessert, but thankfully had a fallback cake: orange and almond, which was moist (I know, sorry…) and satisfying.

The brief wine list is keenly priced (the Oltre Passo Primitivo was beautifully velvety), the atmosphere is lively, and the waiters have amazing beards. Really, what’s not to like?

Food: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Value for money: 8/10