"A glutton’s dream..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Clapham’s gastronomic star has steadily been on the rise in recent years and with the addition of Pi Pizza to Battersea Rise earlier this year, that shows no sign of abating.
Next door to a favourite local haunt of mine, wine bar The Humble Grape, the restaurant was recently voted one of the UK’s prettiest by the Mail Online. The front space is bedecked with an insta-worthy floral ceiling, but it’s the back room that offers the real wow factor, with its blue tiled wall, canary yellow velvet banquette and live olive tree jutting out through the wooden floorboards, all drenched in sunlight from the glass ceiling. I fell in love instantly.
The menu is full of delicious Italian fodder. Pizza dough is made to their own top-secret recipe, using a specialist flour from Italy with a 72 hour fermentation process, resulting in a light, lean base with airy, crispy, crusts. Tomatoes come from the Isle of Wight, mozzarella straight from Italy, while other cheeses are handpicked from producers around the UK. Meat is sourced locally from farms in Hampshire and the surrounding areas while their charcuterie meats come from only the finest producers in Sudtiorl, Calabria, Parma in Italy and Serrano ham from Spain.
With such attention to ingredients, it’s no surprise the food is a glutton’s dream. The oozing burrata, accompanied by caramelised honest-sweet black figs was gobbled down in seconds, while a mixed bruschetta board featured juicy Isle of Wight plum tomatoes and a densely flavoured porcini cream scattered with delicious wild mushrooms.
Pi has had the ingenious idea of splitting their pizzas into halves or thirds, meaning you needn’t resolve yourself to trying just one of their multiple sublime flavours. A big hit was the Salisbury Rosary goats cheese, sprinkled over a creamy white base finished with caramelised red onion and crispy kale, while the old Winchester cauliflower cheese (yes, on a pizza) with chorizo and spinach was hearty and comforting without feeling stodgy. The Serrano ham, plum tomatoes white truffle oil and mizuna half was to die for, the ham crisp and rich, the tomatoes full of the flavour of Naples. My favourite had to be the enticing combination of artichoke hearts, ham hock, red onion, brown cap mushrooms, garlic and pecorino shavings, surely an Italophile’s dream. Though intentions were good, carb-loading on the first course meant a takeaway box of pizza, though I can confirm it was just as delicious cold the next morning. Add the fact that they have an absolutely dreamy cocktail menu and we have a winner. The As Good As It Gets comes highly recommended; Havanna special, Jack Daniels, passion fruit puree, sugar, lime juice and lemonade - it’s basically summer in a glass.
With eyes bigger than my belly (surprise surprise…) there was no room for dessert, but with a coconut cream pavlova with summer berries, salted caramel custard tart and mini brioche filled with pistachio, salted caramel and white chocolate WILL be consumed at a later date. As will the canolis. The bottom line? Go to Pi. Eat, drink, be merry - there’s a two hour bottomless brunch on weekends and a Happy Hour 5-7pm Monday - Friday, both of which are already in my diary.
Laurel reviewed Pi Pizza on Wed 29 Aug 2018