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.

Friends and Good Food

As I sit here and contemplate what I want to do with my adult life, I thought there was nothing better to do than to write a blog post to avoid making any concrete decisions (still being productive though right?)

In the past few days, I’ve had my friend Alessandra come and stay at my apartment (hotel sofs as she likes to call it ). She’s visiting London from Dubai and naturally we had to go out and catch up over some good food and drinks. Having shown her East London before, I wanted to take her somewhere different. I decided on a favourite of mine… Homeslice. The reason I even knew about it in the first place was because of my friend Laura, knowing both our love for pizza, got us tickets to a pizza festival for my birthday back in May (BEST BDAY GIFT EVER). We got to make our pizzas (just like the pros), and we basically begged our way around trying the slices off each stall as our ticket didn’t include the tasters. The aim of the festival was to vote the best pizza restaurant in London and each stall gave out their version of perfection in a slice. While we succeeded in trying a lot of them, our puppy-eyed pretty pleases did not go well with the homeslice lady (thanks, gal) but it was winning the votes by a mile and we knew we had to try it.

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The best pizzaiolo’s around

Fast forward to this week and me and Alessandra were on our way. We got a litre of red wine (went down a treat as per usual) and decided to get the 20″ inch half Mushroom, Ricotta, Pumpkin seed and Chili and half Chorizo, Corn and Coriander. I had tried the mushroom one before and I’m not sure why ( maybe it was the wine- jokes) but I particularly enjoyed it a lot more this time than the last. Maybe because it had more ricotta on the topping and I love cheese. The chorizo corn and coriander was great too although if anything a little bit more chorizo would have been even better! Regarding the pizza itself, it is just the right thickness so that it’s not too doughy and not so thin that the toppings fall off as soon as you try and pick it up. I love pizza, and it ranks as one of my favourites in London.

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Still looking glam

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up close n’ personal

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seriously look how happy I am

Also, we also finally tried out this bar opposite my apartment called Map Maison. If you have me on social media, you’ll know that I made that my caption on Instagram. BUT seriously I’ve lived here for two years now and I had never been! They had a 2 for one deal on cocktails in the week; a cute Lewis Carroll kinda vibe with menu’s inside classic books and the drinks are fascinating and complex. Aless had the rosemary martini… sounds weird but trust me when i say the taste was surprisingly fresh and unexpected. On the other hand, Laura and I had pisco sours. She has taught me the incredible ways of this drink- (more on that when we have our Peruvian dinner party.. yes you heard me correctly) and we both agreed they were perfect. If you’re ever in Haggerston check it out!dsc00200

Next time I think we’re going to try their afternoon tea with the optional glass of prosecco because let’s face it, as much as I love fancy tea, I like fancy booze better.