By Koray Hussein
Let me kick today’s review off with one of my favourite quotes:
“When a man is tired of pizza, he is tired of life.”
– Samuel Johnson.
Okay, so I may have slightly altered that quote but honestly, who doesn’t like pizza? It may just be a fancy version of something on toast but dammit, it’s good something on toast! Although I am willing to physically fight anybody who puts pineapple on a pizza and offers it to me.
Mate… You’re doing it wrong.
No, pizza is at it’s best (for me at least) when it’s being made by someone who cares about the food they produce and is preferably of the “simple” variety (the pizza not the person). A plain old margherita from a good pizzeria will outdo any fancy shmancy pizza from a Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza or *shudder* Pizza Express.
It’s with this that I want to start talking about Goodge Street’s ICCo, which oddly stands for Italian Coffee Company. It’s a place I have been going to regularly for quite a few years now for one very simple reason… ICCo offer some of the best value for money pizza I have ever seen.
Decked out like a classic New York style pizzeria, ICCo, serves thin crusted 11” pizza’s starting from £3.95 for the aforementioned margherita and going all the way up to… umm, £6.70 for a Festa Carne. All this I remind you is within an extremely short walk from Oxford Street where a street vendor hotdog (which is probably 8% meat and 92% shoe) can almost run you up to £4 on it’s own. You just don’t find good food for cheap in Central London… unless of course, you visit ICCo.
Like I said before, I like my pizza’s simple and that’s what ICCo specialise in. I usually go for the Funghi (mushroom) but I’ve had quite a few of their other offerings with the beautifully simple (there’s that word again) margherita and flavourful vegetarian being two that stand out.
In fact in all the times I’ve visited ICCo I can only remember one time when I wasn’t completely satisfied with the pizza I had ordered. It was a pepperoni pizza and had a small puddle of grease forming at it’s heart. It was nothing a few dabs with a napkin couldn’t sort out and like I said, that was just once. I’ve had pepperoni pizza from there since and it was puddle free.
The only real negative I can level at ICCo would be that they inform you your food is ready to pick up by using that small vibrating buzzer system that caught on a few years ago. It’s not a system I like and can’t help thinking the classic “Order 8! Your food is ready!” would work better in such a small eatery.
I know I’m being picky here and that this is just a very slight and personal gripe but honestly… That’s all I got. There’s a reason why ICCo has been a personal favourite of mine for so long: I love the place. So yeah, if the only negative things I can come up with are that once there was a little too much grease on a pepperoni pizza and that they use a bloody buzzer then take that as a sign that the place is pretty hard to knock.