Franco Manca has been spoken about a lot and more frequently as more new branches pop up in London, the most recent one, being in Westfield in White City. We decided to head on down to the Tottenham Court road branch on a Saturday to see what all the fuss was about.
Firstly what you need to know, is what gives them the edge… and that’s down to the pizzas being made in the traditional Neapolitan style, which means that there are rules that they must stick by, the type of oven in which the pizza is cooked in, the way the dough is kneaded and the selected ingredients used. If you’re after a Hawaiian pizza this place isn’t for you. The restaurant has a very contemporary look and feel to it with a wood-burning oven in the middle, where you can see the chefs work their magic.
I went for the number four pizza with Gloucester old spot ham (home cured) mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms, the tomato sauce was fresh and the ingredients were very authentic and of good quality.
The thing first thing that caught my attention was it’s base, I had known it was cooked using sourdough, that wasn’t the surprise it was the very thick and puffed up crust, with a dense consistency, the middle part of the base was a lot thiner, which was soft and chewy. I could compare it to a soft flat bread. Although surprising, I did enjoy it. You could definitely see that the base is a real focus when making pizzas.
The Vegetarian special, came with green beans, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and anchovies, with no tomato sauce. Having never tasted a pizza without tomato sauce, I thought it may taste strange, but it did not detract from how delicious the pizza was. There are six pizzas on the menus with a few specials shown on the blackboard, with two salads, priced from a very affordable £3.90 so yes you can certainly say that the pizzas here are very good value.
For desert we went for the lemon and almond cake with sorbet and a honey drizzle. The cake was moist and a real melt in your mouth type of desert! It was refreshing and it didn’t make you feel like you were finishing off with a naughty desert. My friend went for the chocolate hazelnut cake with ice cream and raspberry sorbet on the side, another perfectly cooked cake, moist and not overly sweet, but rich in flavour. A nice ending to our Franco Manca experience!
98 Tottenham Court Road
Review by Nyla S.