I’m not a food critic. I couldn’t tell an overpowering taste of oregano to a heavy dose of thyme. But I know what I like, consider myself a relatively good chef thanks to my mother, and a good judge of what others will enjoy.
Somebody recommended Pizza East to me at work. It sounded like another London restaurant that had queues outside the door because of unnecessary hype or a recent TimeOut review, but I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I had my reservations since, living in Brixton, I found it hard to believe a pizza place better than Franco Manca existed. Well it does!
But it comes at a price…of time. Queues at this place can easily be 90 minutes long if you don’t have a reservation – but at least they take reservations. I went for a last minute 11:30 AM Sunday slot, so had no problems, but be warned for a Saturday night. The pizzas are pricey compared to Franco Manca, but still very reasonable at £8-£14.
The antipasti dish of marinated olives and almonds is delish! Not something that I’d seen before to be honest but it works incredibly well and I would definitely recommend. For mains we shared the spicy sausage and broccoli pizza and the veal meatballs and prosciutto pizza. They were loaded with toppings, no stingy portions of meat! Broccoli on a pizza was a nice addition as well. They weren’t too sloppy either. Sometimes you can get a pizza that is so thin, it just flops in your hand and you lose your toppings, resulting in a meal of thin bread and a plate of cheesy meat (or meaty cheese). Not this pizza, this had structure and a solid crust. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about pizza so passionately – strange for someone that used to work at Pizza Hut. But trust me, this was good pizza.
So Pizza East comes above Franco Manca in my London pizza rankings. Sure, Franco Manca focuses on a sour dough pizza, but to me, pizza is pizza and they fall under the same category. I’d love to try the Pizza parties they do for larger groups, the area of the restaurant where these are hosted looks impressive. One for another day.