Franco Manca specialise in serving fresh sourdough pizza baked in wood burning brick oven. With six sites dotted around London, we visited the Chiswick High Street restaurant. The wood ovens are made in Naples and produces a heat of about 500 degrees centigrade. The website states that the blast cooking process locks in the flour's natural aroma and moisture giving a soft and easily digestible crust.
With 6 options on the menu, a few specials and options to add toppings, the menu is short and to the point. The decor is simple and efficient, with coat hooks next to each wall side table being a nice touch.
I decided on the meat special with wild pig capocollo, Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella, organic tomato and watercress. The meat was top notch and nicely cured. It could of done with less watercress however and more of the pig! The sourdough base was well cooked, yet soft and moist. Topped with the Parmesan, mozzarella and tomato it was one of the best pizzas I have had in a while, simple yet so satisfying.
My colleagues seemed to enjoy their pizzas as well as they didn't make a peep until they had finished after stating 'it's good' on the first bite. The tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies and mozzarella pizza garnered the following comments:
"Classic pizza toppings combination. Moist dough and very fresh toppings. The first bite was amazing with fresh herby tomato nicely complement by an explosion of salt. However was a little too salty for such a big portion – can’t really complain when you order anchovies though."
Gloucester old spot ham, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms.
For around a tenner each for a pizza and drink, Franco Manca makes for a cheap and easy dinner. In fact that makes me think if they can deliver such affordable quality down south then no reason why it couldn't be done in Liverpool, franchise opportunity? Certainly a cut above what we currently have, but I'd probably say that about Franco Manca as well if I tried pizza in Naples.