Franco Manca is a place that I have been meaning to go to for ages. For those of you that haven’t heard ‘it’s the best place for pizza in London’…well this is what I was told anyway. I had actually taken a trip down to Brixton Village to go to The Joint which a couple of friends have raved about but which is still a well-kept secret. However, complete cock-up on my part, as it was a Wednesday evening it was closed (most places in Brixton Village tend to open from Thursday onwards).
For those of you that haven’t been to Brixton Village before…you know who you are! GO. NOW. You need to go and experience the hustle and bustle, the rich mixture of people and the outside seating which makes you feel like you’re in the middle of everything going on and not missing out.
Every time I pass Franco Manca there is a queue! If this is not testament to their good reputation then I really don’t know what is. Luckily we only had to wait about 10 minutes until we were seated. Menus are already on the tables and therefore we promptly put our noses down to see what was on offer.
Six pizza options. Short snappy menu so good for those of you that are indecisive when it comes to choosing what you fancy. Luckily I am one of those people that never really finds it that hard to pick, I normally go for the first thing that grabs my eye or alternatively if there is a top two then I always ask the waiter/waitress what they would recommend. Places that train their staff well will have made them try the food and therefore they can often give you a few extra details about a dish! Not that there is so much that you can say about a pizza in this particular case!
I went for No.5 – Tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozzarella. Yum. Especially at a price of £6.70
My friend went for the Gloucester Old Spot Ham (home cured) with mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms £6.85
Despite it being pretty busy we didn’t have to wait too long for our food. The pizzas are huge, they didn’t even fit on the plates completely!
They have a nice thin base which is just how I like them otherwise they can be massively carb heavy. Despite the bases being thin they were nice and crispy which can be the tricky part when making pizzas. Too much tomato and juicy toppings and the base gets soggy and doesn’t crisp up. These were cooked just right and it didn’t take long before they were both gone and wine was guzzled and refilled!
I must say despite there only being two wines on the menu. Again Franco Manca clearly likes to keep things simple. We went for the Organic red. It was nice. Easy to drink and light. I would recommend.
Now let me let you in on a secret. Franco Manca’s pizzas are made by slow rising their sour dough for a minimum of 20 hours. They are then baked in a Tufae (stone oven) which is wood fired and can reach 550 degrees which is needed for a very quick cook which locks the moisture into the dough as well as all of the goodness. Therefore eat your crusts. They are good for you too!
Franco Manca originated in Brixton Village, due to their success they now have restaurants in Chiswick, Westfield (Stratford), and Clapham so no excuses for not going and checking them out. Put it on your ‘eating out’ list. It needs to be done for a cheap and cheerful tummy filling exercise.