what the critics say
Saturday, March 07, 2009 - Big, messy and gloriously, explosively tasty, these are pizzas, Jim, but not as we know them. Their irregular shape and nubbly surface would be rejected by a supermarket buyer on sight. But boy, do they eat well. The bases are crisp and light, with a yeasty, sourdough tang. Each topping packs a huge punch: the careful sourcing of organic ingredients is rewarded by capers that erupt like briny taste-bombs, anchovies that linger like the memory of a holiday romance and a single basil leaf with a flavour so big and blousy you want to swoon.
Sunday, September 21, 2008 - It is indeed extraordinarily good. The crust has a distinctly sour taste, but this isn't overwhelming. The mozzarella, which is made specially for Franco Manca at an organic farm in Somerset, is wonderfully buttery, its richness the perfect foil for the mushrooms. This particular pizza doesn't have tomato - Mascoli points out that it would overwhelm the flavour of the girolles. Within minutes our plate is empty. Mascoli summons the waitress and places a new order - this time for a chorizo and mozzarella pizza (the most expensive, at £5.60). I find it oddly comforting that it will take only 40 seconds to cook.
We were wandering around Brixton and came across Franco Manca. Had heard lots of great things about this place, so decided to have lunch there. There were already people seated there from about 11:30am. We were seated around 11:45 am. We were initially the only table with a small child (3 year old).
I had issues with the service. Any manger with a grain of sense would move along a table with a small child a bit quicker. We waited and waited for someone to take our order (the menu isn't long, and parent with a toddler are always looking to order quickly as a hungry toddler is a ticking time bomb). All the other tables were brought their drinks and some even their pizza, while my husband tried in vain to flag down a server. I finally literally grabbed the sleeve of a waitress who brought our neighbouring table their pizzas and asked to order. Instead of taking our order, she said she would 'ask her manager' and left. We waited some more while our toddler got even more restless watching everyone else tucking into their meals. Finally someone took our order. The food did not take long to arrive, but unfortunately by that time our son was in full tantrum mode and after a few failed attempts to get him to eat something, I had to bodily haul him out of the restaurant kicking and screaming and take him to a random Brixton stairwell to calm down while my hubby got the pizzas packed up.
Back at home, reheated in the oven, the pizzas were very good, but I supposed they would have tasted better if we had been able to eat them fresher.
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Food 7 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 4
Saturday, January 08, 2011
We went for lunch on a week day a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Without a doubt, the best and most affordable pizza I have had in years! It came to £20 for two pizza, two glasses of wine and a tip.
The service was haphazard but the food was worth it. Would certainly return but only on a week day as I imagine it will be packed on the weekend
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Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8
Friday, December 17, 2010
what the bloggers say
The Graphic Foodie
Sunday, October 17, 2010 - The 20 hour minimum, slowly risen sourdough base is thin and terrifically aerated and chewy. The wood burning oven used to quickly zap the pizzas is smokily evident, adding to the flavour. I went for a classic margarita as I really wanted to taste the base which is softer than you would expect but folds and eats beautifully. I really liked the way the grassy olive oil pooled into the centre and the sauce was perfect in taste and quantity.
A Rather Unusual Chinaman
Monday, September 07, 2009 - We had also ordered a side salad and I hate to say it, but this nearly stole the show. Not only was it beautiful to look at, but each constituent part was well thought out and tasted fresh and light...And then the pizza's appeared, and they were everything you could want in a pizza. Arriving with that slight char from the wood ovens, dough bubbling at the edges then crisping up to give that requisite crunch. Thin and light throughout, complemented by top quality ingredients, all sourced by the owner himself, the proud providence of the ingredients displayed on each and every menu. This really was quite special.
World Foodie Guide - 8/10
Sunday, June 14, 2009 - I can't say whether Franco Manca's pizzas are the best in London or not, as I don't eat pizza often enough to be able to make that comparison. Fellow food bloggers will hopefully be able to help me out here with thoughts on this subject. However, I can say with confidence that the sourdough base was delightfully crispy, not too thick and doughy, not too thin and floppy (I don't normally finish the crust, but none remained this time) and the two toppings that I did try were excellent. Next time, I'm going to add more extras on my pizza and 'super-size' it up a bit!
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