When it comes to the pizza market in London, it is safe to say it is quite over populated. On one end you have your Pizza Express' and your Strada's and then you have your gourmet premium non-chain stores such as Franco Manca and Santa Maria. Then somewhere in the middle, although a chain, but with good quality seasonal produce, are the cheeky people behind Pizza East, and to be more specific their Kentish Town establishment.
Located in the middle of Camden and Hampstead Heath, Pizza East Kentish Town is home to some of the best rustic pizzas in the area. Jam packed with flavour there is literally a pizza for everyone from their menu. Made from traditional, seasonal ingredients with ciabatta-style, slow-proved dough, hand-made in-house every day, it is no wonder that customers keep coming back for the freshness! The menu also offers wood oven-cooked dishes from their Antipasti range, not to mention a host of delectable sides of creative vegetables and tummy fillers.
Starters of Burrata, aubergine, pesto and Riccotta side @ Pizza East Kentish Town (photo @neelsmcgee)
I headed over to this establishment with a few friends who had been raving about it. One had a 20% off card which can be used on Tuesdays (now, who doesn't want a little bit of week-start indulgence). The four of us decided to go large and really get the best value for our money.
Scanning the menu we decided to commence our food journey with a few options from the Antipasti range. This was a good choice and the service was very prompt. We had just ordered within 15 minutes of being at the venue and seated and our food came out if not 10 minutes later. This may have been because the staff are super speedy, or it may be because vegetarian items on the menu take barely any time to put together on a plate.
First out was the buttered lettuce, the delicious ricotta with a tang of sweetness which came from honey, and some roasted aubergines. All equally as tasty as one another and provided a great alternative to the safe-option of garlic bread. That said, I am sure their garlic bread would be out of this world.
(Spicy sausage, mozzarella, broccolli pizza @ Pizza East Kentish Town (photo by @neelsmcgee)
Now, unlike some other pizza chains that have pasta on the menu, Pizza East stays true to its primary purpose of Pizza. So without further ado we then scanned the menu to order our main for the evening. The winners were the Spicy sausage, mozzarella, and broccolli pizza and the Prosciutto cotto, tomato, calabrese & chilli pizza.
(Butter lettuce with avocado and vinaigrette @ Pizza East Kentish Town (photo by @neelsmcgee)
On the table quicker than you can poke a stick at, both were piping hot and filled the room with a delicious aroma. As we ordered another round of sides while our pizzas cooled down I decided to have a proper scope out of the place. On one side there is a bar serving cocktails (great after-work spot if you work in the area).
One thing which some people may love and other may hate is the lighting, or lack there of. What I would compare to 'mood-lighting' is the entire set up of Pizza East at Kentish Town. As a customer, you are able to easily see the people at your table and perhaps a few more around you, but if you are struggling with your sight, or just a little disorientated from the cocktails, you may have a little struggle sometimes seeing what you have ordered. Obviously this would not be the case during lunch time (as you can clearly see from the picture below) That said, it is never an issue in the grand scheme of things as time and time again the food here has been spot on (since this review came out I have been to Pizza East at least another three times) and the atmosphere has been lively and warm.
Salted Chocolate Tart @ Pizza East Kentish Town (photo by @neelsmcgee)
The Gelato was of course the perfect selection accompanied by the Salted chocolate tart ( I am a sucker for salted desserts they are just to die for). This combination was the perfect finish to a lovely evening. The tart was just the perfect balance of salty and sweet and the gelato was just as gelato should be, creamy and cold.
Pizza East is situated in Kentish Town, Shoreditch and Portobello in London and also has a store in Istanbul and Chicago. Give yourself a mid week treat and head to Pizza East, you will not be disappointed.
Gelato @ Pizza East Kentish Town (photo @neelsmcgee)