London Pizza Festival 2017

Last year, Laura and I discovered the best festival ever to exist in London- London pizza festival! For my birthday last year, Laura had got me a ticket where we got to make our own pizza with our East London (hangover) favourite, Rosso Pomodoro. However, our ticket did not include (as we were to later find out) the main show- namely, voting for London’s best pizza joint.

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That’s why we had to go back and try out this year (and probably every other year to come as well). Six different pizza places are present at London Pizza Festival and for £28, you make your way around trying a slice of them all as you turn yourself into a pizza connoisseur.  Typical phrases I found myself saying were things like: “Shame, the dough is a little bit burnt”, “Too doughy, tastes like bread”,  “WAY too much cheese” – (and who thought I’d ever say that). Essentially, trying each slice side by side really helps you realise that no pizza is ever the same. You’re able to cleverly distinguish every little detail (or at least that’s what Laura and I certainly felt like). Then, once you have tried them all, each person uses one voting sticker to crown the winner.

Out of all the places that were there, I had tried both Radio Alice and Da Michele before. Da Michele definitely does live up to its reputation and its pizza is delicious. The tomato sauce is perfectly balanced and flavoursome. Radio Alice is a little different from conventional pizza places. Its dough is a lot denser like bread, so it is less airy and fluffy than your typical pizza. However, I will say that it is tasty nonetheless and their topping choices are always unique. Therefore, I was excited that there was a range of contenders this year, including many I had never tried before.

This year, the contenders were as follows:

Addommè

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Delicious tomato sauce with just the right amount of cheese topped with a tasty aubergine parmigiana. The dough was light and airy. My only complaint was it was little burnt on the bottom. This pizza ended up winning and I can completely see why.

Da Michele (apparently the best pizza in the world)

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In the restaurant, when I had tried the margarita, I’d ordered it with single mozzarella and I had really enjoyed it. However, the pizza they offered here was double the cheese and in my opinion, it was way too much. I love cheese but it meant the pizza had no other flavour.

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Made of Dough

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This was our overall favourite and both me and Laura did end up voting for it. It also won in 2015. We found that made of dough had the perfect balance of flavours. The saltiness of the chorizo went well the sweetness of the piquillo peppers. The dough was close to being my favourite as well. I loved that they gave us a basil aioli to dip the crusts in. I am not a huge fan of crusts and their aioli was EXACTLY what I needed. We even ended up saving it for some of the other pizzas as well.

Napoli on the Road

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Probably my least favourite of the whole festival. I don’t really like pizza in Bianco (White Pizza) unless it’s a topping that I enjoy.  This pizza was topped with tuna carpaccio, mullet bottarga and yellow tomatoes. Personally, I really didn’t like the concept of tuna on a pizza, or any seafood at all for that matter, but it still did well in the overall voting so I think this was down to personal choice.

Radio Alice

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Radio Alice’s dough as mentioned before is crispy on the outside and softer inside. It sort of reminds me of having sourdough bread rather than a traditional pizza. Yet, I will say, while their pizza was denser, the toppings were delicious. The fennel and pork sausage tasted super moreish with the tomato sauce. I also chose to have mine with some chilli oil which gave it just the right amount of heat.

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Sud Italia

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I’m still not sure how I feel about this one. Sud Italia’s Pizza sounded like the most interesting to me and a pizza combo I would never usually pick myself in a restaurant. The pizza had pumpkin, nduja, mozzarella, bleu de laqueuille as well as pecorino and parmesan. Again, for me, the cheese flavours in this pizza were too overpowering. I’m not a fan of blue cheese but I will say its saltiness did help cut through the creamy mozzarella. Overall, for me, this pizza was way too rich and if I had ordered a whole one, I would have not been able to eat it. I will say that in terms of positives, the dough was nice and fluffy.

 

With all the pizza done and dusted, we left the festival feeling STUFFED. I even googled an ice cream place nearby for a dessert but sadly, I could not even bring myself to order anything (WHICH IS so unlike me). Each pizza place gave you a massive slice and if you add it all together, we probably ate the equivalent of 1 and a half pizzas. Combined with some prosecco and we were well and truly knackered. I spent the rest of my day on the sofa, nursing what felt like a pizza baby….but it was worth every second.

Without a shadow of a doubt, We’ll be back next year to eat more pizza, drink more prosecco and become the ultimate tasting experts.

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