Friday, 11 June 2010

Pizza East

So last night I FINALLY went to Pizza East. I've been gagging to go since it opened, and as it's just around the corner from work I can almost hear the pizzas calling me... It's running into its sixth month and this place has been an instant hit. We turned up at 7.30 and the place was rammed to the rafters, and its not a small either.

The interior is lovely. Very organic and rustic with distressed wood, exposed brick work and low hanging big spot lights. The atmosphere was buzzing, full of good energy. 

We were seated at a great table by the window where we had the last of the sun shining on us. It was a beautiful evening, I was with great friends, and I was super excited about my pizza! The waiter brought over a generous carafes of red wine and we were good to go.

One of our diners has frequented Pizza East rather a lot and also happens to be a rather fabulous food connoisseur. We wanted to share some starters so we left the choosing up to him. He came up trumps. We had a delicious platter of San Daniele Ham and Bresaola with a ball of the creamiest mozzarella I have ever eaten (not for the cholesterol conscious). It was AMAZING! So tasty and fresh. Mmmm.

To accompany this we had some fried whitebait with lemon and some fried chicken livers in a cheesey sauce. Yummy. But the mozzarella won hands down.

Now on to the Pizzas.... I thought that for the sake of the blog I had to try something a little bit more adventurous than my autopilot Parma ham and rocket. So... I opted for Smoked salmon with tomato, ricota and capers. I like all of the ingredients and thought that smoked salmon on pizza could be an unexpected winner.

So when it arrived and I took my first mouthful I REALLY wanted to love it... but I have to say, it just didn't do it for me. I always associate smoked salmon with being cold, and it was just weird having it luke warm on a pizza. The textures and food combo didn't work, and I looked on with envy at my fellow diners' more conventional choices. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that good either. And as a girl who loves her pizza I was disappointed with my choice... :(

However, I must say, that the dough was really good. But the crust was about 2 inches deep, and we could have all done with topping on that space. After a couple of swapsies I got to try some other toppings. The Spicy sausage with mozzarella, sprouting broccoli and garlic was great. Having a good bit of green on there makes you feel like you're being that little bit healthier. The Speck, tomato, mozzarella and rocket was good too. But not mind blowing.

The pudding menu arrived, and my gorgeous friend Amy who lived in Argentina spotted Hot cinnammon sugar doughnuts with Varhona chocolate which reminded her of churros in BA, so we just had to get them! These (along with the mozzarella!) were a highlight of the meal. The doughnuts were SO light and the chocolate was wonderfully runny and rich; a great mixture of flavour and texture, and the bitterness of the chocolate meant they weren't too sweet. The plate was huge too! Lots to share round. 

So my general consensus on Pizza East is that it's more about the location, atmosphere and people watching rather than amazing pizza. I get what they're trying to do with the unusual topping combinations, and I think it's a bit fun and different, but there's a reason why the Pizza canon of Margheritas, Four Seasons and La Reines exists. The oldies are the best.

Pizza East is the perfect place to go with a group of friends for a fun evening, to fill your tum with some hearty food before you hit the Shoreditch bars. Just don't come expecting Pizza that's out of this world. I am still on that quest - so please leave any recommendations below!


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