By Koray Hussein
When I first heard about Pizza East I didn’t even bother to add it to my “to visit” list and just decided that I’d get to it when I got to it. I mean, I had places like Mother Clucker, Soho Bikes and Patty & Bun to get to… Then I was told that it was by the same guys who brought us Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop; resulting in Pizza East, not only being added to the list, but being catapulted to the top of it.
I looked up their locations and saw that they had shops in Shoreditch, Kentish Town and Portobello. I’d had my fill of Shoreditch for a while and seeing as how getting to Portobello Road is a bit of a trek for me, I grabbed a friend, jumped on the overground and headed towards Highgate to visit their Kentish Town branch.
We arrived at Pizza East in the early afternoon and were kind of taken aback by just how dark it was inside. It’s not like they went to the ridiculous lengths that some shops go to (I’m looking at you Hollister. Stop taking the piss, turn on the damn lights and let us look at your terrible, terrible clothing) and it’s not as if you’re going to be bumping into tables and chairs but it was noticeable.
That’s not a knock on the interior though because once your eyes adjust to the darkness that is Pizza East, it’s lovely. There’s dark wood tables and chairs, a bar that stretches out into the centre of the restaurant with old Italian style dried meat dangling down from the ceiling and the wood oven is right there for all to see.
I used to only buy vegetarian pizzas, alternating between your average vegetarian, vegetarian hot’s or any other meat free pizza, but a little over a year ago that kind of changed. I started to order mainly pepperoni and chicken pizzas and contemplated going for the spicy sausage, mozzarella and broccoli option but for some unknown reason my brain switched back to the veggie days and I was drawn to a four cheese pizza they had on the menu (which I cannot see on their online menu).
After umming and arring for a little over five minutes I settled for the four cheese pizza and my friend went for their buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil pizza.
When the food arrived and we both tried each other’s there wasn’t actually much difference. Yes, I know we both went for cheese pizza’s but I was expecting the four cheeses to stand out but only the mascarpone really made any sort of headway with the others just blending into each other.
Don’t take that as me complaining though, because they were both bloody lovely and Pizza East is now up there with some of my favourite pizza places in the city (ICCo being another). Maybe both of us going for cheesy pizzas was a mistake if we wanted to sample their menu but I’m not too fussed… It just gives me a reason to go back for an update which I will definitely be doing.
If you’re a pizza lover (read: a human being) then you should definitely get yourself down to your nearest Pizza East as the food is of a good, high quality and the staff (at the Kentish Town one at least) are friendly and accommodating, with one staff member stopping midstride just to refill my half empty glass of water.
I’m not going to lie, that kind of freaked me out.