What: Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas with organic ingredients.
New? The simple menu has a new addition of n7 pizza made with spicy lamb sausage, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, yellow piennoto tomato and fresh basil without a tomato base as well as some new bites.
Where? 20 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1RE www.francomanca.co.uk
On the Menu: The pizza menu keeps things modest with seven options on the main menu joined by ever-changing vegetarian and meat specials written on a chalk board. Small bites to start include olives and garlic bread with mozzarella while desserts feature the typically Italian favourite Tiramisu.
The Look: The general theme across Franco Manca is an industrial chic vibe with exposed pipes and brickwork, in stark contrast this particular venue has a colourful wall mural that (genuinely) looks like a child has created it. The kitchen at the back is completely open so you can watch the chefs whipping up the bases in a theatrical fashion, most people are only having pizza so are in and out quite quickly but are easily replaced as a steady stream of diners keeps the venue occupied all evening.
What We Ate: The amazing Burrata Pugliese is a ball of burrata on ciabatta with cherry tomatoes and drizzled in olive oil, summarising the simple yet powerful flavours of Italy. The n7 pizza is delicious and that famous sourdough base is to be savoured rather than to merely hold all the more exciting ingredients; the downfall is there were only five bitesize pizzas of lamb sausage, a more generous smattering would have been welcome. The vegetarian special of the day was mozzarella, caramelised red onion, stilton, Montgomery’s Ogleshield and fresh spinach; a very cheesy option. There are only four dessert options of which the lemon almond cake appealed to me the most but was wary of a dry lump of sponge being served, what I received was the opposite though. The cake was incredibly moist and sweet accompanied with yoghurt and a generous drizzle of honey to counter the yoghurt’s tartness.
What We Drank: A “no label” lager hits the spot whilst the range of wines leads us into tipsy territory.
Go With: This is a great spot to have dinner with friends especially if you’re on a budget but don’t want to feel like you are.
Final Word: Franco Manca is simple and affordable and lacks that chemical taste that some other rival pizza chains fall victim to. The food menu only has a few options in each section but it is better to do something well in smaller quantities than to try and over stretch and fail; and clearly Franco Manca is on to a winner.
Franco Manca: 20 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1RE