Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pizza Metro - London

For those who know little about the history of Pizza, this Italian delicacy was born in Napoli (Naples). Almost 200 years later, the real, authentic Neapolitan pizza can still only be tasted in Napoli... with a few exceptions. Pizza metro makes one of the best Neapolitan pizzas you could possibly have, and it's located in London. Even if you went to Napoli, it would not be that easy to find a pizza of this quality, unless you went to one of the very few historical pizza restaurants left today.

Pizza Metro has quite a history. It was actually the very first restaurant in London that made pizza using a real wood-fired oven. At the time, it was rather hard to obtain a license allowing a wood fired oven at any restaurant's premises. On top of that, while all other London restaurants only made your standard average pizza, Pizza Metro was the first to offer real Neapolitan pizza. So many years later, Pizza Metro still offers the best pizza in London.

You can only understand what's behind such art once you speak to Valentino, the pizza Chef. Someone who dedicated his whole life to pizza, for whom pizza is an art and passion. He can transform a lump of dough into a paper thin 2 meter long sheet effortlessy, in less than a minute. I asked him "what is the secret of proper Napolitan Pizza? Is it really a secret?". His response was "Pizza comes from the heart. If you are nervous, pizza will come out nervous. Making pizza cannot be taught. It must be observed day by day with interest and passion, until it will just flow naturally".

While the dough is the hardest part to get right when making Neapolitan pizza (several considerations need to be made depending on the type of flour, water, temperature etc...), the next challenge is flattening it into such a thin sheet without making any holes. The oven is also key. Maintaining a constant temperature and cooking the pizza without burning it. It only takes 3 minutes to cook!
The most traditional pizza is simply topped with Tomato sauce and basic condiments. Next, "Margherita" which also includes mozzarella cheese.

The peculiarity of Neapolitan pizza is its length, It comes in measures from 0.5m (for 1 person) up to 2m (for up to 4-5 people). One long pizza can have several sections with different toppings (generally a different topping every 0.5m).
I cannot comment on the taste of this pizza. Try for yourself. You won't have tried pizza until you have eaten this. The difference is just too big to be filled by words.

We started with a Mozzarella di Bufala with cherry tomatoes. These are flown in directly from Campania a few times per week. It was as firm and juicy as it should be.

We then had an unmissable 'Melanzane alla parmigiana' Neapolitan style. For those who never had this dish, it is a sort of 'lasagne' with no meat and no dough. Layers of fried aubergines are interleaved with layers of tomato and mozzarella, finally topped with Parmesan cheeese and baked in the oven. Any tomato lover will appreciate this dish.

These Neapolitan meatballs also had that Neapolitan, mediterranean touch. They were so light and tasty you would just have a plate full of them, accompanied with Italian bread.

This was my first time to have handmade fusilli. These 'Handmade fusilli with seafood' had that comfort 'home' taste you generally can't experience in a London restaurant. The handmade version is totally different from the industrial one, and I absolutely prefer it. I will definitely try to make these at home once back, as they will be missed. There was definitely mastery in the way ingredients were elegantly bound together by a light and yet yummy sauce.

The same could be said for these 'Spaghetti con polpo e pomodoro', or spaghetti with octopus and tomato. The smooth and tick tomato sauce made with fresh tomato was well combined with tender slices of octopus tentacles.

It's quite simple. If you are visiting London and you like real Italian food, then visiting this place is a must. You will have the chance to have food that you can't get in Singapore and would be hard to find even in Italy. Remember to try their specialties such as pizza, starters, and especially 'Salsiccia e Friarielli'.

Pizza Metro
64 Battersea Rise,
Clapham Junction, SW11 1EQ
Tel: 020 7228 3812

1 comment:

Bullseye said...

wow, awesome work done by you in this site.

pizza battersea

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