Pizza East Portobello – Notting Hill

When it first opened in 2009, you could have called me Pizza East‘s biggest fan. However, over the next year, I kept going back to increasingly disappointed food and service, which is why when they opened up a new branch in Notting Hill, I had mixed emotions. I was as equally elated that I would no longer have to travel to Shoreditch for Veal Meatball goodness as I was dubious that the decline in quality would follow westward.

Luckily I was proved wrong. But still, the meal wasn’t without mixed emotions.

The good: the food was top notch
The bad: they don’t take reservations (yet) and they have the most asinine system of ‘first-come, first-served’ I’ve ever seen. There is no list. If the waiting area/bar is full, the smiling ladies at the front tell you to come back in 20 minutes, and *maybe* then you might be allowed to wait in the bar/staging area for 45 minutes to an hour for a table where – I might add – you are not allowed to order any starters or nibbles. If there happens to be a two-top that comes up, and they happen to remember you’ve been waiting a while, you might get the table. Completely asinine . You can tell the hosts think so too. Through their smiles, I think they were dying inside to tell every single person ‘Sorry, we don’t do a list here.’

Anyway, the food… Mostly excellent. I enjoyed the Char-grilled squid, salsa verde (£6), although it was slightly overcooked

DQ had a big loaf of Garlic Bread (£3), in which its garlic-y goodness lingered pretty much the whole night.

I naturally went with my favourite Veal Meatball pizza (£11):

Fluffy, wonderful bubbly crust brushed with a lemon cream sauce, sprinkled with sage and topped with prosciutto and veal. I love this pizza and won’t get anything else at Pizza East.

Our other pizza was the Salami, Red Onion, Chilli (£11):

Also good, but no veal meatball. We asked for extra chillies, and I’m glad we did – the salami lacked a bit of punch.

Service was a bit spotty, but as alluded to, the place is ridiculously busy, and they’re still finding their feet (We waited almost two hours for a table and dinner took about an hour and a half). I’ve no doubt Pizza East Portobello will end up on my heavy rotation of West London restaurants, but only when they sort out the reservation system!

Pizza East Portobello on Urbanspoon



  1. never had a meatball pizza, sounds intriguing indeed! I think I will go there though only after they have sorted out their reservation issue. sounds a complete nightmare!

  2. Clare, it’s definitely worth it if you get in early. Or you can call the Shreditch location and reserve a table. They have the same menu :)

    Ute, veal meatball pizza is where it’s at. Simply fantastic as long as the crust is cooked right!

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