145 Wandsworth High Street
London SW18 4JB
Inside the Bugatti pizzeria
Bugatti Pizzeria is located on Wandsworth High Street, not far from the Town Hall and the commercial centre.
The frontside of the restaurant is not wide but actually it is a quite large restaurant with good space between the tables. It feels quite airy, an impression reinforced by the view of the stairs going upstairs.
We took a pizza Regina B (made of mozzarella, ham, mushrooms and olives – £5) and a pizza calzone piccante (folded pizza with pepperoni, cheese and chilli pepper – £5). As drinks we had a bottle of an Italian sparkling water (£1.50) and a Moretti beer (£3) served cold, as it should be.
The two pizzas
The pizza Regina was a bit disappointing. The main problem with it was that the toppings were, or certainly tasted as though they were, of very low supermarket quality. I’d make that complaint particularly about the ham, which I’m pretty sure was the reconstituted wafer thin variety – and in any case, had very little flavour. The pizza base was also quite tasteless, which left everything up to the mozarella and mushrooms. The texture and crispness of the base was fine, but overall a disappointingly bland experience. Of course, we’re not in the (low) class of pizza hut or anything like that! But I can’t rate Bugatti’s pizza Regina anywhere above average either.
Pizza calzone piccante
The pizza Calzone piccante was decent. The base was not crispy but it was still alright. I do appreciate the tomato sauce was put on the side of the pizza and not directly on it as it happens sometimes, making the pizza soggy. The toppings were some chilli pepper, cheese and some pepperoni that looked fried like fried bacon. The spicy oil was nicely spicy.
Cost and conclusion: it was £14.50 (service charge not included and not automatically added to the bill – we like that) for the two pizzas and the drinks. Hard to beat that price which is £5 for a pizza or pasta (excluding seafood) between 12 to 5 pm. Outside this time frame they are more around £7-8. Still, quite an amazingly low price for London. Only Franco Manca is in the same price range with better pizzas (although our second visit there was not a great experience) but a less “fancy” decor. In neither case would I do the trip just for their pizzas but they can be recommended when around the area. Bugatti Pizzeria also does take away.
Limoncello Trattoria Pizzeria Wine Bar
169-171 Mitcham Road, Tooting
London SW17 9PG
We have not been to Limoncello for over 3 months despite their excellent pizzas! We are repairing this mistake today. Limoncello is located 5 minutes walk from Tooting Broadway tube station. The restaurant is quite spacious with a bar on one side and the restaurant on the other side. There is a good distance between tables too unlike the photo above might suggest: the tables there were put together for a party.
As starters we ordered the bresaola avocado (thinly sliced cured beef with avocado – £5.90) and a fried breaded camenbert (£5.90) which was listed on their menu of the day blackboard. For main courses we chose the pizza fiorentina made of tomato, mozzarella, spinach, onions and egg (£7.50) and a pizza calzone (like last time since it was quite good) made of tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, ham and salami (£7.90). The wine was a bottle of red wine (Cabernet – £13.90) that was already on the table as they were suggesting it. It was well balanced and easy to drink.
Fried breaded camembert
The fried breaded camembert was surprising. It was two huge slices of camembert with an apple compote. The photo does not really show their size. It could have been a main course itself. It was quite good and the compote was a good balance.
The bresaola avocado was excellent. The cured beef was perfect with a squeeze of lemon and some avocado. Usually I find acovado a bit – well, bleh. It is rather bland and greasy for my taste. With the cured beef, lemon and a touch of rocket, however, I finally see the point of avocado. Really an excellent starter that I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat.
Anatomy of a calzone
The pizzas were quite good and giant. The pizza fiorentina had a nice crispy base that stayed lightly crispy without becoming too hard as it happens sometimes with pizzas. The toppings with spinach and onions were nice. It was just unfortunate the egg broke while being cooked. Still, a pretty decent pizza. The calzone was, as the last time, very good indeed. It had just the right mix and quantity of ingredients, and stayed nice and crispy. Definitely recommended.
Mint ice cream
The desserts were average. Not bad but they looked like desserts you can get at the supermarket and they were too sweet. The dessert menu already makes you think that because it is one of these standard plastified menu with photos. We also had two limoncello (£6.40) and they were served icy as they should. We even got a free refill from the owner, which was nice of him. We ended the dinner with two good cups of coffee.
Cost and conclusion: it was £57 service charge not included and not automatically added to the bill. We like when it is left at the discretion of the client and in this case as the service was good they got a tip of course. With the exception of the desserts, the meals from the starters to the pizzas were good. It was the second time we went there in 3 months so we can say they appear quite reliable. It has also a nice atmosphere. Highly recommended if you are in the area!
73-75 The Strand
London WC2R 0DE
View of the oven
You come through the stairs in the background
Sober but nice design
Back again at Zizzi for a quick lunch near the office. Why again a pizza place? Well first I like pizzas in general and second I want to get erase the awful pizza I had in Tooting Broadway from my memory! Last time we came here we had a pizza Trentino and a pizza Fiorentina with the rustica option for a “Bigger, thinner and crispier bases, which means more room for your favourite topping!” as they say. In short, with that option you supersize your pizza.
Today we ordered a pizza Sofia rustica (spicy chicken, pepperoni, oven roasted sausage, tomato, mozzarella, finished with green chilli and fresh rosemary – £10.90) and a pizza Cotto e funghi rustica (cotto ham, field mushrooms, mascarpone, tomato, mozzarella and thyme – £10.45) and a 66cl Peroni beer (£5.95).
The beer was cold. A good start.
The two large pizzas
Let's not forget the chilli oil!
Pizza Sofia rustica
The pizza Sofia rustica was decent. I did not think much of the spicy chicken bits that I found a little bland. The oven roasted sausage bits were too small to really have a taste. The green chilli slices were extremely hot. I am into spicy oil and food so usually I can handle hot stuff quite well but these were like dynamite. Still, not a bad pizza but the other one was much better.
Pizza Cotto e funghi rustica
The pizza Cotto e funghi rustica was delicious, extremely creamy and with a thin crispy base. The ham was perfect, not oversalty as often happens and the mushrooms were tasty. The creamy flavour comes from the mascarpone which is a very fatty cheese made of fresh cream.
2/3 Sofia, 1/3 Cotto e funghi rustica
Cost and conclusion: Zizzi is currently offering £1 main meals when you buy any other (go to zizzi.co.uk) so the lunch was less than £20 which is an excellent deal. Also, tips are discretionary here and not automatically included in the bill which is good. All restaurants should follow that rule! The service was fine, so they deserved the tip. With so many tourist traps around the Strand and Covent garden it is nice to have a decent Italian restaurant offering good value for money.
115 Tooting High Street
London SW17 0SY
There is a telephone booth inside the restaurant
While going to a pet store for buying a flea bomb (never let a stray cat visit your house by the way…) I noticed the pizzeria Fiorentina at the corner of Tooting High St. It looked nice from outside with its nice mix of pale orange and strong green colours. Inside, it is not fancy but it is not bad either, with rustic tables. One curiosity was a red telephone booth in the room. I did not go closer to check if it was real or some kind of furniture or even a fridge, who knows?
We ordered two pizzas: the pizza D’Ischia made of mozzarella, tomato, ham, mushrooms and olivies (£6.95) and a pizza Calzone (mozzarella, tomato, salami, ham, egg and olivies – £6.95). For drinking, we had an Italian Moretti beer (£2.75) and an Italian sparkling Monteforte water (£1.75). While the beer was perfectly cold, the water was not and was served with a glass full of icecubes and a slice of lemon.
Moretti beer but Peroni glass!
The beer was fine, while we regretted the water was not cold
We waited a long time to get our pizzas. I have never waited that long for just a pizza in my life. The restaurant was hardly full (we were the only clients!) so it was a little strange. After about 40 minutes or so they eventually arrived. First, we were surprised by their size which was small compared to what we usually get in other pizzerias. They look big in the pictures below but the plates were on the small side. Also, they looked too burnt.
The pizza calzone was alright at the beginning, but the salt (coming from the ham probably) eventually got me. The mozzarella cheese did not have any flavour, same for the ham (bar the salt) and the base was like bread. I certainly did not enjoy it and it was probably the worst pizza I had for a while, challenging my last, and unique, experience at Pizza Hut near Wandsworth Town 5 years ago.
The calzone is supposed to have an egg
One thing really bothered me. I chose the calzone because the menu mentioned an egg and it has been a long time I did not have that kind of calzone pizza. Well, the egg was nowhere! I thought my friend had it because we shared half of the pizza so we could both get a taste of the pizzas but she did not get it either.
The pizza D’Ischia was maybe better than the calzone because it was crispier. The base was very bland though and overall the pizza was quite salty too. We thought this one looked like some average frozen pizza you can get at the supermarket. Both pizzas were quite dense, with a very compact and heavy base and – despite not finishing the pizzas – we did not feel well on the way home.
Cost and conclusion: it was £18.40 service charge not included. While it is a small bill we did not enjoy our meals. The last experience at Franco Manca was not good with a very average pizza but it was still way ahead compared to these. If you are looking for pizzas near Tooting Broadway I recommend Limoncello and Sette Bello where the atmosphere is nice and the restaurants are run by Italians. Here, the atmosphere was zero. On the upside, the prices for the drinks were reasonable.
Italian restaurant Pizza Metro
64 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1EQ
It has been over a month since we have been to Pizza Metro, not that we haven’t tried but it is often very busy. Tonight it looked good for a revisit. Last time we had the Ripieno which is a kind of calzone pizza with ricotta, parmesan, ham, basil, Napoli salame, tomatoes, and mozzarella (£9.95) and the Diego’s with mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, Napoli salame, rocket, basil, olive oil and parmesan (£9.95). This time we had again the Ripieno and I decided to try another pizza just to see if they were lucky previously or really good at cooking all kinds of pizzas 😉 The new pizza was the Panna pizza made of thick Italian cream, mushrooms, ham, Napoli salami, mozzarella, basil and parmesan (£9.95). We also ordered some sparkling water (£3.25) and a good Menabrea lager beer made with corn (£3.95). It is a little bitter in case you do not like bitter beer.
Good Menabrea beer
The Ripieno pizza was – as previously – very good. It is a pizza that holds its heat very well, so even if you take your time eating, is going to stay nice and hot and fresh to the end. It is not an especially crispy pizza, but has a nice mix of flavours. Definitely worth trying.
The Panna pizza was also a good choice. Heavy cream on a pizza has the potential to be a bit sickly, but Pizza Metro get the balance right here. It is just enough cream to complement the rest of the toppings, but doesn’t overpower. Another good discovery.
Conclusion and cost: it was £31.11 with the 12.5% “optional” service charge included. As usual, I will complain about the service charge being automatically added to the bill. It should be fully left at the discretion of the clients. That said, in this case they deserved it as they were friendly and efficient. We really like the decor which is much better than at nearby Donna Margherita and the pizzas were better too this time. Highly recommended if you are near Clapham Junction!