Honey and
food and travel

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Franco Manca

We were the last ones to be squeezed into a table, right at the back, right next to the action, before the queue started. It was 7pm on a Tuesday night in April. If there is a queue outside already it has to be a good sign. Especially when there are multiples of this restaurant spread across London. This was a queue of East End folk only.

The next good sign is that all the staff are Italian. It was like we'd walked into a holiday.

And the other good sign was Tony Turnbull's quote on the back of the menu. If Tony Turnbull votes these pizzas the best in the country, we must be on to something.

I can smugly say that we were. Franco Manca's sourdough pizza bases gives them that edge over the others. The doughiness is there. Not in a stodgy, heavy way, but in a fluffy, malty, matured way, that cannot be found in the pack of instant yeast of the supermarket shelf. I dream of the day when the supermarket buyers replace the little sachets with little jars of sourdough starter.

A glass of thankfully not-too-organic wine for me, a beer for B, a few leaves and alfafa sprouts to get towards the 7 a day, and then on to the real deal. B went all simple on me and his eye averted the spicy meats and settled, strangely, on a classic tomato, basil, mozzerella. I guess if you're going to do that anywhere, this is probably the place. You'd probably be happy if they just bought you the crust, so maybe as little accessorising on top as you can bare is the answer. I, on the other hand, plumped for tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozzerella. Heaven. And B doesn't like many of those things. Which meant I got it all to myself. My little food baby accompanied me all the way home.

I'd also just like to add that this place is ridiculously good value. £6 for a pizza? I'll be going back. Straight back.

Highlight: Sourdough
Lowlight: The walk from my flat is a little too far. If they'd like to open up actually on my street that would make me very happy.

Franco Manca, 52 Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ

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