As the stress of third year is starting to take its toll, I have noticed a pattern: I am currently eating my way through my final year; the expanding width of my food baby is beginning to rival the metaphorical width of essays and approaching deadlines that I see on my horizon… But don’t be alarmed, I am not over indulging, just drawing more comfort from food than usual. As you can imagine, I was more than delighted to be invited back to Zzetta, the soul fired pizza restaurant that is so nice, it deserves to be reviewed twice (see my previous review here: http://cubmagazine.co.uk/2018/06/zzetta-revolutionising-pizza/). This relatively new artisan, Italian restaurant is located next to Rathbone Market in London’s East End. However, this humble eatery really does capture the heart of London and the heart of all those who feast there.
Nestled off of a main road, this discreet restaurant doesn’t scream at you with an over the top façade and can so easily be overlooked. Yet this all changes as soon as you step inside this beautiful haven of an establishment and the heavenly scent of fresh pizza envelopes you in a warm and indulgent embrace. The Italian stone oven, which is used to bake the delicious Neapolitan-Roman fusion style pizzas, forms the centrepiece of this intimate dining venue. Rather than being claustrophobic, the small number of tables (beautifully designed to represent crates in homage to Rathbone Market) creates the illusion that you are eating in your dining room and that all the staff and fellow diners are family. As this suggests, Zzetta provides customers with an intensely personal experience; each 12-inch pizza is created with a unique base of 48 hour slow-risen vegan sourdough which when baked, transforms into a thin and crispy platform for an array of delicious (and very generous) pizza toppings. If, like me, you are indecisive, there is even the option to personalise your own pizza to create the ‘pizza al metro’ (pizza by the meter) and sample different toppings simultaneously. But proceed with caution, these pizzas are an impressive 20 inches long so it might be worth sharing with a friend or requesting a box in advance to take your leftovers home with you!
My friend and I opted for the ‘Garlic Bread Cheese’ to start which was baked to perfection; the cheese melted into the dough deliciously and was complimented by the fresh rosemary on top which helped distinguish the garlic bread from those we have tasted in other restaurants. For our main course, we shared the ‘Zzetta Salad’ which was fresh, crisp and full of unexpected but welcome additions such as avocado and pumpkin seeds. Of course, we didn’t stop there for mains, my friend opted for the ‘Bufalina’ pizza which consisted of fresh cut Bufala Mozzarella, basil and olive oil, whereas I opted for the ‘Smoked Salmon’ pizza with Fior di Latte Mozzarella, Broccoli and Ricotta Cheese, served on a white base. Purely for journalistic purposes we both helped ourselves to the other person’s pizza and were blown away. The combination of ingredients which decorated the top of the pizzas like a piece of artwork, each stood out in their own right when tasted, and also blended together to create a mouth watering combination that meant it was hard not to devour the pizzas in one or two bites! Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for dessert, but we have both vowed to return to conquer the sweeter side of Zzetta. There is also an exquisite range of drinks to choose from, both alcoholic and non-alcohlic, such as the following soft drinks sourced from Italy: Bio Cola, Bio Limonata (my personal favourite), and Bio Orange.
Overall, Zzetta prides itself on a menu that goes beyond the typical pizzeria; the prices are beyond reasonable while the food and the service is exceptionable. For just like the food could not be faulted, neither could the staff. All were attentive without being overbearing and it was obvious how passionate they were about their jobs and delivering the best service to guests. I challenge anyone to dine at Zzetta and be disappointed. Spread the word amongst friends – Zzetta is truly visionary and will change how you feel about all other pizzerias!
Address:Rathbone Market, 110 Barking Rd, London E16 1EN
Transport: Canning Town is the nearest tube station and can be accessed via the Jubilee Line