London’s Crazy Pizza restaurant is renowned for the dough-flinging antics of its chefs. But beyond the dining room theatre, does it deliver on taste too?
It’s the hottest day of the year in London, with temperatures nudging the high thirties, and all I want to do, frankly, is sit in front of an enormous fan. But I promised my partner a night out at a great new restaurant – and she won’t be dissuaded by the fact that the city is in meltdown.
But within a few seconds of entering the cool, air-conditioned heaven that is Marylebone’s Crazy Pizza, I’m glad we persevered. Even by 7pm, the place is packed and buzzing – filled with a happy mix of families, smart Chelsea types and groups of lively ladies who look like they’ve been here since lunchtime. In short, it feels fun.
Set up by Ex-Formula One boss Flavio Briatore, who owns restaurants, bars and clubs in the UK, Italy, Dubai and Monaco, Crazy Pizza is a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The waiting staff are relaxed but attentive, and the chefs in the open kitchen keep diners amused with their impressive dough spinning antics. What they do take seriously, though, is the food. They make their own mozzarella on site and the pizzas are thin crust and yeast-free, which means diners don’t get the uncomfortably full feeling often associated with enjoying the doughy delights of Italy.
We kicked off with some of the home-made mozzarella, served simply with some colourful heritage tomatoes and drizzled in spiky green olive oil. Pure, salty and sweet – it proved the perfect opener to a great dining experience.
Pizza was our main course choice (it’s the only choice, to be fair), with my partner opting for the simple pomodoro option, her reasoning being that the best test of an Italian kitchen is its tomato sauce. I went for the pata negra pizza, served with lashings of glistening, gossamer-thin ham and underpinned by that rich tomato base. Both were light enough that, we reasoned, you could surely eat them every day. If I lived closer to the restaurant, I might do just that.
Dessert was also a treat. The ‘‘a la minute’’ tiramisu is a fresh, simple classic done well and prepared table-side – which saw the people next to us instantly decide that they would be having the same.
As we headed back out into the steamy London night, there was a queue of people waiting for a table. Clearly, in a few short months since opening, the word has spread about this place. In a city that has no shortage of Italian restaurants, Crazy Pizza feels like it’s offering a great new twist on a familiar dining experience and, on the strength of this visit, it deserves to be a huge success.
For more information, go to www.crazypizza.co.