The original Pizza East in Shoreditch was a controversial inclusion on my top ten London cheap eats list. “£12 for pizza is not cheap” said one of the (anonymous) posters. I agree there is cheaper pizza out there, but after MTV boyfriend and I visited the newly opened Pizza East Portobello I remain convinced the restaurant offers a good option for seriously good pizza at reasonable prices.
There is lots of alfresco dining at Pizza East Portobello which is good for summer
Pizza East Portobello looks like a slightly smaller version of its Shoreditch sister restaurant. It features that distressed, New York warehouse look which makes a restaurant feel like it has been around for years but in reality is painstakingly created. White tiles line the walls and our waiter told us the pressed tin ceiling was actually imported from a bar in New York while the metal blue vintage chairs came from a salvage sale in Texas.
Pizza with proscuitto and rocket topping
It’s not just the look that is New York influenced, the pizzas are a cross between an American and Italian style. There is a wood fired pizza oven that turns out thin, ciabatta style dough which puffs at the edges. The pizzas use home-made tomato sauce and feature some of the same toppings as Shoreditch but also some new menu items. There is a Portobello mushroom, taleggio and oregano pizza (£10) and a courgette flower, ricotta and marjoram pizza (£9) which had sold out on the summery night we visited.
Asparagus and pecorino
Antipasti of char grilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and topped with chunks of pecorino cheese (£6) provided a summery start. While a salad of butter lettuce and avocado provided a bit of a green foil to our pizzas (£4).
Butter lettuce and avocado salad
I couldn’t resist the veal meatball pizza (£11) which is a favourite of mine from the Shoreditch Pizza East. Chunks of dense meatball are topped with crisped shards of proscuitto and a cream base rather than the traditional tomato. The proscuitto and rocket pizza (£11) was topped with slivers of San Daniele prosciutto and handfuls of fresh rocket over a tomato base.
Veal meatball pizza
Washed down with a couple of San Miguel beers each (£3) we escaped with a bill just under £50 for the two of us and full bellys. To me this seems even better value in the pricey Notting Hill area then it is in Shoreditch.
Details: Pizza East Portobello, 310 Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove, W10 5TA (Ph +44 (0)20 8969 4500) Tube: Ladbroke Grove