17 January 2010

Pizza East in Shoreditch


I love Pizza East.  I love everything about the place.  The decor (Meatpacking warehouse-chic), the staff (super friendly, passionate and knowledgeable) and of course the food (delicious).

It'd be easy to dismiss Pizza East as another gourmet pizza place, but it's in a totally different league to Fire & Stone in Covent Garden.  To start, Pizza East doesn't just serve pizzas.   Despite its name, there's a lot more than just pizza on the menu. 
Wood roasted mussels
The menu is divided in to seven sections: cold, baked and fried antipastis;  counter, a chacuterie selection, pizzas; salads and woodoven cooked mains.  Despite having filled up earlier on edamame beans round the corner at Loungelover, I wanted to eat it all.   Thankfully, there were four of us dining which meant we could order a selection of antipastis to share.   

Sicillian aubergine
The wood roasted mussels with fennel and aioli were big, plump, juicy, and accompanied by slices of bread.  However, we ordered an extra side of garlic bread to mop up the sauce as it was so good.  The garlic bread was loaded with lots of butter and garlic, creating a heady, turbo charged garlic treat when dipped into the mussel sauce.  


Moreish coppa
The Sicillian aubergine, fried and served with orange, balsamic and chilli was a beautiful combination of flavours, and my favourite of the starters.  The coppa, a dry-cured cut and fatty ham from the neck of the pig, served with rustic slices of warm bread was also a table pleaser, I just wish we could have had more slithers of it.

Amazing pizzas


For the mains, we all went for pizzas and we weren't disappointed.  Light and crispy bases with  detectable wood oven flavour, the pizzas were delicious.  Of the selection the San Daniele ham, buffalo ricotta, hazlenut pesto and baby chard stole the show, with its fresh, light and bursting with flavour topping.  If you're a garlic fiend like me you'll particurly love this pizza for its base.  Unlike the other pizzas, the base was lightly flavoured with garlic providing an extra layer of flavour.   A close second was the salami, tomato, mozarella and red onion, chilli flakes with extra cheese.  Which was meaty and satisfying.
Doughnut balls with Valrhona chocolate
Despite being full to bursting, we couldn't pass up on the hot cinnamon sugar doughnuts, mini light and fluffy balls served with Valrhona chocolate dipping sauce were as good as they sound. 

Pizza East on UrbanspoonVerdict:   With a carafe of wine, a couple pints of Peroni the bill came to about £30 each, which was a bargain considering the quality of the food we ate and the buzzy atmosphere, which is great for groups.  Like I said I love Pizza East, and if you eat there, you'll love it too.


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