Back in the day Pizza Express and Pizza Hut were one the only few options for pizza on the high street. Unless of course you wanted something exotic like a Hawaiian (guilty pleasure) from a local Italian restaurant bedecked with red and white table cloths. Now not so.
Any pizza lovers in London will have no doubt come across Franco Manca in the last few years. Their sourdough pizzas are delicious. A simple menu of just a few options and no other distractions. The wine is good too. I’ve noticed the chain (which I think you can call now) has been growing rapidly (19 at the last count). My local Brixton branch is always busy and you pretty much will always have to queue. The service is brisk with no frills – they need to seat the waiting bunch of punters. But this is why I like it – its part of the experience. I felt a little sad when I saw a shiny new branch in Westfield Stratford. Sure the pizza will be good – but people won’t get the true Franco Manca experience you’ll find at the original venue.
But hey we’ve got our own sourdough pizza place in Crystal Palace – with craft beer, Gelupo gelato and Allpress coffee too. 400 Rabbits is probably the best name for a pizza restaurant ever. Any establishment that names itself after the Aztec God of Drunkenness gets my vote. And it’s run by the guys at the Brockwell Lido café – a favourite among SE Londoners.
I managed to get a booking in the soft launch week bagging one of 200 places – boom. I move fast when I need to.
The interior is hip – Wallpaper mag has even written about it. Plywood with pops of colour with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bustling high street. All this dominated by a vibrant green pizza oven churning out delicious fresh pizzas.
So yes the pizzas….6 regulars and 2 specials that change. Interesting ingredients (no Hawaiian here) – courgettes, pigs cheeks, Lincolnshire poacher cheese, merguez, roast butternut squash to name but a few toppings have spied or sampled. Couple of salads too (no thank you) and takeaway available which you can order online.
I can’t comment on beer as not a fan but they serve my favourite wine Picpoul, Negronis plus some fair trade soft drinks in groovy bottles. I’ll report back on the gelato in the summer.
They’ve been voted in the top five pizzas in South London and with prices starting at £6.50 I’d hop down there. Fast.
PS – There’s now a branch in Nunhead!