I had heard lots about Santa Maria Pizzeria through various London tour guide websites. I knew a while back that this quiet little pizzeria near to my new home in London, was in fact voted one of the best pizzas in London. Obviously I had been keen to find an excuse to go and fill my face with their doughy goodness. So when bonfire night arose and I really wasn’t keen on standing out in the cold, pizza and wine sounded like the perfect compromise!
The venue itself is so small – surprising considering its popularity. However, they do have some additional seating at the back, but that seems very secluded and you don’t get a view of the chefs flipping and flinging the dough in the kitchen.
Now! To decide what to eat. To be honest, for the average Englishman, it didn’t have a huge amount of variety. The menu was clearly developed for an Italian Cuisine Connoisseur as there was no pasta, no rissotto, just pizza. This was not a problem for me as I was ravenous and dying to visit Carb City.
We decided – being two petite girlies – to share a pizza. “It is our policy that each person has a pizza” the waiter says. Well… we got two starters instead!
Firstly: The Bruchetta
It was crispy with a fresh tomato topping. It has just enough acidity in the topping to cut through the powerful garlic that was soaked into the bread. Probably one of the best bruchettas I have ever eaten and a very generous portion!
Secondly: The Garlic and Mozzarella Bread
Practically a pizza in its own right – the dough was the perfect thickness for me, crispy with a fluffy centre! Plenty of garlic, plenty of cheese and plenty of carbohydrates. By this point we were more than full, but… We had to sample as much of the menu as possible, course!
The Main Event: The Santa Anna (Ham, Olives, Tomato and Mozzarella)
I hate olives! However, as we were sharing, I just flicked mine over to Monique’s side for her to indulge in! In all honesty, I found the pizza to be a little disappointing. The centre was very thin and began to go soggy from the tomato base. As I said earlier, I prefer the dough thicker and fluffier. It is completely a personal preference. Monique seemed to LOVE the thickness – maybe I’m just picky.
Stuffed and ready to go home, OH… Dessert?!: Tiramisu
I definitely overdosed on enough food by the time this bad boy arrived, but you can’t go to a renowned Italian restaurant and no sample their signature dessert, that would be very rude! So, tiramisu it was and mannnnnnn was it good! It was so creamy with plenty of chocolate and coffee dusted over the top!
I was full and more than satisfied. The bill arrived and I gave a rough estimate of £35-£40 for the amount of food (plus a glass of wine each) which I thought was reasonable. I was more than pleased with the outcome – £27.50 for THREE COURSES AND WINE! Not only had I just dined at a notorious Italian, I had done it on a students budget!
Definitely one for a romantic date or a catch up with the girls!
My only criticism is that we were asked to leave because people were queuing to get in – not exactly a bad thing!
I will definitely be taking friends and family there in the future, you should do the same…