A work lunch led me to this popular pizza joint at East Dulwich. This once hipster pizzeria originated in the, formally, dingy depths of Brixton Village but now finds itself in every neighborhood imaginable, even Westfield! They are famed for their sourdough Neapolitan pizza, that is “highly digestible” and homely in appearance. We ordered three pizzas to share, two were from the specials menu, which sadly I did not take a note of so I can’t give you the full ingredients description, rookie error. This is because they do a daily rotating meat and vegetarian pizza special. The other pizza we ordered was the wild broccoli, mozzarella, Gloucester old spot hand sliced sausage, which has no tomato.
Service was friendly and relatively efficient. There’s quite a relaxed vibe, in the decor and the service, almost to the point of nonchalance. It seems like the chain aspect has not withered the atmosphere.
If I’m to be honest, the toppings did not deliver, the flavours could be much stronger and that’s why the vegetarian special, which featured garlic pesto, stood out and was the only topping I could seriously remember. Besides that the pizza itself was probably the strongest flavour I could taste which for a carb lover, like me, might actually be a good thing.
For me, pizza is pizza, a hearty piece of dough smothered in your choice of toppings. Nobody likes a bad pizza but when everything is there it takes a lot more to stand out. Personally Franco Manca doesn’t stand out. I know I’m comparing it to the lofty heights of some of those decadent slices of goodness I had in Italy back in 2013 but if you’re positioning yourself in that bracket you’re begging to be judged.
However despite saying that, Franco Manca, serves a decent Neapolitan pizza, everything is on point, enough for it to be considered “one of the best pizza’s in London”, I just wish the flavours stood out more and the base a tad crispier. But at its price point and its rate of expansion I can’t imagine why anyone would fork out more than £10 for a pizza at one of those massive fast food chains anymore.
Address: 21 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EW
Telephone: 0208 299 4017
Mind The Gap:
Franco Manca is a fast growing chain of 18 restaurants, their East Dulwich branch is one of their newer ones.
Panda ate, shot and left.
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