I’ve been dying to pop down to hot new tap room / cocktail bar / pizzeria, Canova Hall since the launch party where I got to sample some of their amazing delights. Served straight out of their open fronted kitchen, there’s an added bit of charm in that you can see the chefs preparing the food, joking amongst themselves and the staff, reflecting the light and energetic vibe the venue gives off. A brand new vegan pizza creation and a drizzly Monday afternoon booked off work was the perfect opportunity to grab a friend and pop in to treat myself to the new animal free dish that’s currently grabbing a lot of attention.
Although I’m not actually vegan (so this is a bit of a disclaimer that parts of my meal were probably not vegan!) I love any chance to try a new vegetarian innovation, and the aptly named Vegan Viking is most certainly that! Located on their ‘Red Pizza’ section of their menu, meaning it has a tomato base, thank God. As tomato-less pizza’s genuinely confuse me, the Vegan Viking contains interesting ingredients like Cashew cheese, pistachio pesto, red chilies, rocket and mint. Warming our apatite with a refreshing Brixton Brewery Reliance Pale Ale, we opted for the Vegan Vikings, with some courgette fries to share.
As we waited for our meal we marvelled at the decor of the restaurant; sky high ceilings, low hanging lights, with oak wooden furniture and a stunning tiled central bar. The space has a mix of rustic charm and cool, sleek bar vibes. When our meal came out, we were just as impressed by it as our surroundings; huge perfectly cooked pizzas and crispy courgette fries, we got stuck in straight away. So one thing I have to say is that cashew cheese, obviously, does not taste like your normal pizza cheese, but if you go without that expectation in mind you will agree that it is a damn good alternative. Creamy dollops of this on a tomato base tastes delicious. I like a bit of spice so I added a bit of the in-house chilli oil to mine which got it to the perfect level of heat, with the mint and rocket adding a delightful freshness and the pistachios giving it a nice crunchy bite.
The pizzas alone were definitely enough to fulfil our appetites, but we couldn’t resist the courgette fries, a definite must if you ever pop in. Salty crispness on the outside mixed with a tender courgette middle. I wouldn’t say these were a healthy alternative to fries but they are certainly a delicious variation on an old favourite. Having spotted a bit of a favourite on the desert menu, we did save space for afters; Bag of bomboloni with local jam or Nutella (we actually opted for both) and were thankful we did. Served hot and in a brown paper bag, these tasty doughy treats are another must-have, even if you just have them on their own as a nibble with a drink.
Great restaurants are popping up all over South London at the moment, and Canova hall is definitely one of them. Cool south London vibes, in a great setting with friendly staff and stunning food, it’s one defiantly not to be missed.
Address: 250 Ferndale Road, London, SW9 8BQ
Written by Jordan Crowley