Italian restaurant and pizzeria Donna Margherita
183 Lavender Hill
London SW11 5TE
0207 228 2660
Reviewed on Wednesday 13 May 2009
Italian restaurant Donna Margherita
We noticed this restaurant on the way to Clapham Junction after going to Ukai Sushi. They had some articles saying they were the best pizzeria in London displayed on their entrance so we were curious about it. We returned to eat a couple of days later. It was too busy at that time to get seated inside so we ate in the conservatory next to the footpath. It was becoming cold (it was after 8:30pm) but they put the heaters quickly and they were quite efficient We ordered two pizzas: a Capricciosa (Tomato, mozzarella, ham, artichoke, black olives, olive oil, parmesan and fresh basil – £8.75) and a Pizza Donna Margherita (Cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and fresh basil – £9.10). As drink we had two beers (Moretti – £6) and ended the dinner with two Limoncello (£5).
The pizza base was amongst the best I’ve had in London – nicely crispy and light, with a very nice flavour. Donna margherita is not afraid to burn slightly the edges, producing that wonderful bubbled texture that all good pizza should have. The capricciosa topping was good – but not quite matching the best I’ve had at some other pizzeria. I put this mainly down to the ham, which came in thin strips, rather than in slices. Possibly a little heavy-handed with the artichokes also. The final result was a pizza base rivalling the best I’ve had in London, but topping not quite matching that promise. It still rates well, but has some way to go before it beats Rustica in Richmond. The pizza Donna Margherita was better, with the right amount of topping and a great tomato flavour coming from the cherry tomatoes.
Good Moretti beer
Pizza Donna Margherita
The two pizzas
Spicy oil on pizza
Cost and conclusion: it was £32.46 including a “discretionary” 12.5% service charge for the two pizzas, two beers and two Limoncello. The pizzas were good but we found the music a little too loud to be comfortable.