London Road is ‘happening’ when it comes to new cool food joints and now there’s another newbie I’m recommending you check out: Fatto A Mano Pizzeria, just down from The Hare and Hounds.The menu is short and sweet. Classic Neapolitan pizzas with soft and pillowy bases (not crispy ones) with a choice of either red (San Marzano tomato base) or white (without tomato base). The dough is made by hand (as Fatto A Mano translates to), on site twice a day, every day and proved (left to rise) for a minimum of 10 hours.
The menu is short and sweet. Classic Neapolitan pizzas with soft and pillowy bases (not crispy ones) with a choice of either red (San Marzano tomato base) or white (without tomato base). The dough is made by hand (as Fatto A Mano translates to), on site twice a day, every day and proved (left to rise) for a minimum of 10 hours.
Once you’ve ordered your pizza it is then baked for just 90 seconds in the on-site wood-fired oven which kicks out a heat up to 450 degrees. Yes, my friends, that’s seriously fast food!
I’ve now visited the pizzeria twice, once for a sit-down meal and once to order a takeaway. My first visit was the sit-down with fellow foodie Ben. As we were both keen to try as much of the menu as possible, we ordered the bruschetta with vine tomatoes & oregano – £4 and campania fries – £2.50, as well as two pizzas.
The campania fries were crispy and seasoned with garlic, rosemary and sea salt – a very nice combo that I’ve not tried before. The cherry tomatoes on the bruschetta were full of flavour and the portion generous, making that dish a great appetizer to share.
My pizza choice was the salsiccia e friarielli – £8.50 which includes Italian sausage, Neapolitan broccoli, chilli, basil, mozzarella, parmesan. This one is from the ‘white pizza menu’ so usually no tomato base but I asked for the tomato to be included, as to me it’s not a pizza without tomato.
I’m very glad I did as it was absolutely incredible this way. The pizza base itself was soft and doughy but not underdone. Usually, I wouldn’t eat my crusts, (I start in the middle and work my way outwards) but I found myself demolishing the whole lot.
As if this wasn’t enough food for one evening we were also tempted to try desserts too. Ben and I shared the scugnizzielli nutella – £5, which had been recommended by the Fatto A Mano team. The dessert is made from fried pizza doughnut strips sprinkled with sugar and Nutella, alongside vanilla gelato. A serious calorie indulgence but entirely worth it.
Our other dessert was the affogato – £4.50, which is vanilla gelato dropped into an espresso coffee. Being that I’m not a big coffee drinker I wasn’t too fussed about this one, but I will say the coffee was rich and certainly helped as a post-feast pick-me-up.
Then yesterday I decided to try out the takeaway option as well. I ordered the rucola prosciutto – £8.50 which is a parma ham, rocket, cherry tomato, basil, mozzarella, parmesan pizza from the ‘white variety’ so again no tomato base.
Almost everything about this pizza was divine, the ingredients were fresh and full flavoured, especially the juicy cherry tomatoes and the base had a generous dousing of olive oil to ensure it wasn’t too dry.
However, I felt it was let down by the lack of tomato base. This just may be a personal preference, but I am adamant that you can’t have a pizza with the tomato. I’m glad I’ve tried it, but my advice to others would be order from the ‘white’ selection but ask for the tomato base to be added.
From a takeaway point-of-view, I found the pizzas were on an equal par with the eat-ins. I ate my pizza straight from the box though, it may be a whole different ballgame if you take 20 minutes to walk home and the pizza is allowed to go soggy in the box. It also came very quickly (handy as I was double parked).
One piece of feedback for Fatto A Mano is they didn’t cut the pizza into slices which made eating it in my car a little difficult – just an oversight, but one to remember and check for future takeaways.
PRICE: £35 for 2 (3 courses)
RATING: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give It A Miss
I love this place. The pizza is delicious, fast and excellent value. The staff are also really warm and friendly and the branding and decor is beautiful. I’m loving the mosaic tiled pizza oven and the way they’ve translated this onto the branding of the pizza boxes and the menus.
If you’re veggie you’ll find some great options on the menu, but if you’re vegan you may struggle as there weren’t any vegan options marked up that I could see. *Update – As of February 2017 Fatto a Mano now serves vegan & gluten-free pizzas*
I’ve also discovered that kids (under 10) eat for free with one paying adult. They get a pizza and a gelato which is a fantastic little offer that I will certainly take advantage of if I find myself with any adopted kids anytime soon.
In my opinion, next to VIP Pizza (review here) it wins hands down in a pizza-off.