Sunday, 2 November 2014

Legend amongst foodies Franco Manca has looong been on my list of must-eats and let me tell you it was well worth the wait. And the half hour queue to get in. Originating in Brixton where they only opened for lunch Franco Manca now has nine restaurants in its sourdough stable. I popped in to their new Tottenham Court Road establishment with my Polish bride, and partner in foodie crime, Maggie to find out first hand what all the fuss was about.

Exposed brickwork gives a rustic contrast to the whiter than white tiles that line the walls with a large open kitchen creating the centerpiece of this pizza-lovers paradise. Served up on a wooden board our starter arrived looking all kinds of sexy. We went for Burrata Panouzzi - a large knot of Italian mozzarella and cream based cheese which when cut oozed over the thin slices of flame grilled bread, rocket and cherry tomatoes that accompanied it. Full on party in my mouth vibes. I actually had to take a second to collect myself after each bite.

For the main event it was Number 4 on the menu that tickled me. Gloucester Old Spot Ham (home cured of course) with Mozzarella, Buffalo Ricotta and Wild Mushrooms. BOSH. Franco Manca's pizzas are made from slow-rising sourdough baked in a traditional wood-burning brick oven built by an artisan in Naples, the origin of the restaurants recipes.  On arrival the pizza looked beyond appetising with the thick soft crust (called Cronicione) creating a doughy dish that showcased the specially sourced ingredients to perfection. Pulling the base apart with bare hands and popping it into my gob ASAP (no Rocky) the texture totes lived up to the hype. Soft, chewy and charred in all the right places I couldn't get into my face fast enough. 

Full and happy we asked for the bill and I still can't get over the value. Hands down the best pizza I have ever eaten at just £6.85?! Having shared a starter and cheeky bottle of rose I didn't expect to leave with change of a score but that we did. Can a human survive on pizza alone folks?

Have YOU sampled pizza a la Franco Manca yet????

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