Pizza in London compared to America, is mostly ‘just ok’. For me, when you pick up a piece of pizza, it should be thick enough not to droop and to support the toppings that are on it – and all the pizza I’ve had in London doesn’t do that. It’s just a bit bland and thin. Perhaps that’s why it’s necessary to eat it with a knife and fork (oh, you silly Brits and your compulsive cutlery habits!).
That was, until, Pizza East came along. Pizza East was opened up recently by Nick Jones, the dude from Shoreditch House (which is incidentally around the corner). But unlike Shoreditch House, Pizza East’s food is worth all the hype.
The interior is hip. I feel comfortable in here, which is more than I can say about most places in Shoreditch. It’s also very busy – even at 4pm on Saturday.
My friends and I sit down and order some Olives and Almonds:
Gorgeous. These olives were some of the best I’ve had. Firm and full of concentrated flavour. They were absolutely huge, and I could have happily snacked on them the whole meal.
For a starter, we split the mussels:
Very plump. There was some sort of creme fraiche on these that would have been too much if they used any more of it. It was just a touch, and it was perfect. For three of us, we could have used some more bread for sopping though.
I himmed and hawed over what to get for my pizza. I had it narrowed down to about 4 choices, but finally decided on the Veal Meatball Pizza:
Served with prosciutto, sage, lemon, parsely and cream, this may be the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life ever ever ever. The crust was bubbly and soft, and it was seasoned! No bland dough! The sage and cream were absolutely made to be paired with veal. As I took a bite, the sauce just sort of bubbled up and engulfed all the other toppings. It was so good.
Others on the table included the Prawn with Garlic, Spring Onion and Marjoram:
This was interesting. The marjoram gave it a bit of Earthiness, which was nice. I was a tad confused by the spring onion though, and I think we all would have preferred a bit of cheese. Still, it was delicious.
The last pizza was the Speck with tomato and rocket.
(Side question: Do you know what ‘speck’ is? Neither did we. Apparently it’s like prosciutto, though I’m not exactly clear on the difference and neither was our server. It does, in fact, look a lot like prosciutto – which begs the question, ‘why call it speck, if it looks and tastes like prosciutto AND prosciutto is actually on the menu? Anyone? Anyone?)
This was a much more classic pizza. The speck and rocket were so amazingly fresh, it almost felt like it could be healthy. Plus, it wasn’t dripping in cheese.
The pizza here is brilliant. Every single bite is popping with flavour, and to my absolute delight – everyone I saw in the restaurant abandoned their proper knife and fork, and got down to eating pizza the way it should be eaten – with your hands.