I read an article in the Sunday Times about the 25 best pizza places in the country, according to the writer of this book. If only this book hadn’t already been made and my passion for pizza had hit earlier in life, maybe I would be raking in those publishing royalties right now instead of writing a blog post from a hostel in Porto. Hey, life isn’t so bad.
The day after reading the article I needed to be in Hackney for a meeting and the suggestions were either Lardo or some Turkish place. Pizza always wins out.
It was a sunny day in Hackney. Sunny days make Hackney look at least four times nicer than rainy days. I got caught in Broadway Market, or, more accurately, forgot that Broadway Market is an active market on Saturday and so I walked my bike through a bustling marketplace instead of googling the simple route around it.
You can tell someone who lives in east London, particularly this part of east London, from quite some distance. You don’t really see many of them around where I work, but as soon as you cross the Old Street roundabout, there they are, thronging in abundance. I wonder if they never leave east or if they have a “non-east” change of clothes.
Lardo is easy to find, although one of the girls at the meeting got horrendously lost and ended up half an hour later. The kitchen closes at four so we ordered for her. Margarita. She wanted meat. Late and not answering phone gets what she’s given. Her pizza was cold when she arrived but the staff reheated it Considering the cook time for a pizza is somewhere in the realms of 60 seconds, I wonder how long it needs to be in to reheat but not overcook.
People were sitting outside. I would have sat outside. The sun may be out but it’s still March, so sensibly we sat indoors.
The waiting staff were brusque. The beer was good. The girl, when she arrived, ordered prosecco which she said was very good (then again she said that Franco Manca was the best pizza and incessantly spoke for the evening. She meant well).
I went for the special: Lardo, spinach, egg. It was sloppy, a knife and fork job. The crust was nothing memorable. Too thin for my liking. The lardo was a good topping and somewhat made up for the disappointment of the rest of the pizza. Hype kills, and this was overpriced (east London tax) to boot.
The girl and I shared the torte of the day as I continued to break my Lenten attempts to give up sugar. Dinner service began and we left, all three of us agreeing that this was not the best pizza in London (at the time of visiting our three choices were: Fundi, Franco Manca and ICCo).
6.5/10 – no stopping the topping