El G and I had lunch at Pizza East last week, thereby ticking off one of the many “must go” restaurants on my ever-increasing list. Its in the Tea Building (home to Shoreditch House and next to Albion at the Boundary Project) and only 10 minutes walk from Liverpool Street but somehow, a block past Bishopsgate, haircuts get choppier, clothes get funkier and the City is left behind. Inside it looks great - all East-end warehouse with stone floors, chrome and exposed pipes; people laughing; and happy smiley service. And beers at lunchtime – yey.
For starters, we had tomato bruschetta and marinated olives with almonds. The olives were yummy but the bread on the bruschetta was toasted within about an inch of its life and too hard to eat. Boo.
Then the pizza. Pizza East has had great reviews from other food bloggers (see Urbanspoon) and I was excited to try it, but sadly I was disappointed. I had the spinach, goat’s cheese, tomato and pine nut pizza (the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life was melt-in-the-mouth gorgonzola and spinach) but it was dry with not enough cheese and too much crust which was so hard my fingers got sore trying to cut it. I prefer a softer chewier base, a la Pizza Express which I have a food crush on. El G’s potato, garlic, rosemary, fontina and parmesan pizza looked better but wasn’t remarkable and probably had too much cheese.
For 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 beers it was £18 each – not bad. But why am I reviewing it if I didn’t like the food that much, considering my policy is to only review places I like? Well, I thought the venue and atmosphere were great - I want to check it out for after-work drinks at the bar and live music at the basement club Concrete. I also don’t think all those great reviews can be wrong so it may just be I had a dud pizza – and I’ve heard good things about the spicy sausage and broccoli pizza so I’m not giving up yet!