The Italianate member of Soho House's Kentish Town triad – with Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger making up the other two – is decorated in uncompromising industrial chic. High, stained-concrete ceilings broken up by piping, ventilation, wiring and the like. Dark wood everywhere else. Bare floors. The décor makes for rather unforgiving acoustics, which means Pizza East can get very noisy. But the conversational clang is just about the only negative here.
Pizza is obviously the main event, with imaginatively matched toppings on bases made from a ciabatta-style dough. Prices start from just £6 for buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil, and rise to £13 for one with San Daniele ham, datterini tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. Nearly every topping has an alluring twist, as in the creamy burrata cheese paired with tomato, aubergine and chilli, and the generous scattering of wild mushrooms with Fontina cheese that we ordered.
The real surprise lies in the rest of the menu. Three antipasti were outstanding, especially aubergines with salted ricotta and tomatoes and addictive prosciutto croquettes (both £4). Mains of chicken stew in a Le Creuset casserole (£8 bargain) and beef lasagne (£7), with notably nutmeggy ragù, were even better than the pizza. Service could not have been friendlier or more efficient.
It’s a winning formula, and Kentish Towners should fill their boots with it.