Last Saturday night we stopped off in Holborn for an early dinner at a branch of La Porchetta; it was quite the best pizza I’ve had in Town since I last went to one of their establishments.
The restaurants themselves are quite unpretentious, with tables crammed in to bursting point, staff shouting orders about and (until it is banned in a few months) people smoking away happily. But you don’t go to La Porchetta for the environment, you go for the food.
They take the food very seriously. Pizza dough is freshly made each day, as is the tomato sauce, pasta and all pasta sauces. If you order pasta they’ll bring a large lump of Parmesan to the table and shave off slivers onto your plate. The pasta is good, but the pizzas are out of this world.
Before you order a pizza and a starter have a look around for someone who has already been served; the pizzas are pretty big and garlic bread is the same size. Order both and your stomach will stretch. They are traditional Italian-style pizzas with a thin, crispy base, and a reasonable crust around the outside. They are baked in a very hot oven as decent pizza should be baked.
We ordered two old favourite pizzas, a calzone and an Americana. The calzone is a folded pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, onion and lots of sausage slices; it is a packed pocket of loveliness. So good did I find this pizza that when we lived closer to one of their branches this is all I ordered trip after trip. The Americana had tomato sauce, cheese, green peppers, salami and chillies. I would go as far as saying this was the best pizza I have ever eaten. The ingredients were of the highest quality and the flavours were harmonious.
Don’t bother with the wine, it is practically undrinkable, get a beer (the Weiss-bier is nice). We had two pizzas and two beers and got out of their with a bill for less than twenty-five pounds including a tip. For the quality this was extremely good value.
They have branches all over London (check out their website for the addresses) and they all stick to the same principles, so go wherever is convenient for you. Make sure you do go if you like pizza, La Porchetta is the cat’s arse. I have to say I am distinctly jealous of Daniel whose office is a brief bus-ride away from the Holborn branch; I’d love to have such a great source of lunch nearby.