Pizza East has been kicking around for a while, so I am not really sure why it’s only now I’ve paid it a visit. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I got myself down there eventually as I really enjoyed my food there.
Pizza East is mostly a pizza place that does a few other dishes. They are focused around rustic simplicity and sourcing good ingredients… but who isn’t these days? I know that’s my life’s manifesto. So far I am very simple and fairly rustic…
Corporate doublespeak aside, Pizza East is a decent, reasonably priced restaurant chain with branches in Shoreditch, Kentish Town and Portobello. I visited the Shoreditch High Street one.
We were greeted – and I use that word lightly – but hipster hosts who kind of ignored us/served us/chatted among themselves while they allocated tables. Most of the tables in the place were empty, but they still insisted on sitting everyone at the huge communal tables. Fascinating policy. Whatever though, I don’t care very much apart from the fact Andrew’s elbow was lodged in my rib for much of the night as we were so tightly packed.
I’ll move on from the service in just a sec, but first let me tell you a thing that happened…
Waitress: Do you want to order some drinks?
Andrew: Oh, we’re actually just waiting for our friend who… [he was going to say, "is just hanging up his coat"]
Waitress: I CAN SEE THAT! What do you want to drink?
[We all order our drinks, feeling told off but also trying not to giggle at being told off]
Anyway, on with the food…
We got some starter bits to share, which were San Daniele and puzzone croquettes; burrata, fig and honeycomb bruschetta; fritto misto and a platter of speck ham.
The bruschetta was totally delicious – sweet and light and creamy. I totally love a fig and cheese combo anyway, but this was simply dreamy.
“There’s no way to make those look good, Zoe, I don’t know why you’re bothering!” said one of my dining companions. He was right. Anyway, these were really tasty too – full of rich béchamel sauce that oozed out studded with ham. Definitely could only manage a few at best.
Who doesn’t love cured ham? Crazy folk. This was wafer thin and salty-ly good.
That looks like a massive slice of lemon, doesn’t it? Anyway, the fritto misto was probably my favourite starter. It was light and delicious, with a good range of seafood from prawns to squid and whitebait. The tartare was a let down as it was really mayonnaise – totally not enough capers it in.
For main course, feeling stuffed, I plumped for the most rich dish I could find: veal meatballs, prosciutto and cream pizza. Andrew went for a prosciutto cotto, tomato, mozzarella and artichoke pizza, so we went halvies on each and created this beast:
God, it’s like Frankenstein’s monster. Anyway, it was delicious. The veal meatball pizza was INCREDIBLY rich but absolutely delicious – really meaty. However, it had truck loads of oil oozing from the meatballs which made it slightly too… well, oily.
Andrew’s side was much lighter – and between you and I, a much more sensible option given that we’d eaten starters – and had truck loads of delicious ham on it.
The service left a lot to be desired at Pizza East, but the food was good. I would go back, if not in a tearing hurry.
56 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JJ
Nearest Tube: Old Street (10 min walk) – Shoreditch High St overground is right next door, though.