Part of a global chain of some 80 outlets (but with just three in London), this cheery restaurant clearly retains its modern Neapolitan roots – and its popularity. The paintwork and crockery are as bright as the smiles of the welcoming staff, while the mosaic-tiled pizza unit (complete with wood-fired oven) inspires confidence. This carries through, in part, to the swiftly supplied dishes.
Neapolitan flour makes for a nicely chewy pizza dough, charred and smoky, while the tomato sauce is zesty; handmade scialatielli pasta had intrinsic flavour and sound texture; air-freighted buffalo milk cheeses delighted with their freshness. Stray too far from Naples, though, and disappointment might ensue. On our ‘affettati’ plate, the caponatina from Sicily was barely more than chopped, bland tomato on toast; parma ham was young, crude and ill-flavoured.
Among the ices, buffalo milk ‘fior di latte’ was great, others less so. Prices aren’t too steep, but don’t quite carry the lapses. Nonetheless, the place was buzzing with Italians eager for a taste of home.