I live in East London and Shoreditch is an area I frequent a lot. Often when I’ve been hurriedly scurrying along Shoreditch High Street on my way to some bar or other I’ve glanced up at the wooden windows of Pizza East and jealously watched people eating pizza in the cosy looking interior. Somehow, I’ve never got round to going – or every time I’ve tried, it’s been fully booked (which just increased my desire to go all the more!)
On Friday, one of my best friends returned from her holiday and we decided Pizza East was a good place for a catch up. We persuaded them (literally) into giving us a table (at 6pm! Madness) and I arrived early, ordering the wine.
I love when wine comes in a carafe and it was gorgeous – crisp and fresh, it reminded me of the sort of wine you’d get on holiday in Europe. So that was a great start.
Unfortunately, it all went a bit downhill from there. I ordered a pizza with burrata, Swiss chard and roasted chilli. The base of the pizza was absolutely gorgeous – perfectly cooked and so tasty…but the toppings were a bit of a let down.
There was some other random vegetable on the pizza which didn’t taste of much, the Swiss chard and chilli were sparse, and the burrata just tasted like cheap mozzarella – none of the richer flavour I expected. It was all just a bit bland.
I don’t know…I don’t know if it was because the waiters were so blank and impersonal (plus so deliberately hipster, as if to work there you had to have 3 months’ waiting experience and a beard or piercing), or because they slapped a £10 service charge on a £40 bill, or because they kept reminding me we only had the table booked for an hour and a half when the restaurant was still half empty, or because the food just wasn’t that great. All I know is that I was a bit disappointed and I wouldn’t be back in a hurry.
Afterwards we went to the Crown & Shuttle for drinks. It’s a weird place – it’s kind of what the Light Bar used to be (before it closed down to be turned into flats, a fact that still devastates me – let’s not even talk about it ). It’s like hipsters vs suits. It’s so close to the city but still in Shoreditch that it’s this weird hybrid place. It’s quite nice because it means nobody feels out of place, no matter what they’re wearing!
It also means it’s very busy and we stood up all night. But the garden is so pretty, with it’s smattering of fairy lights and canopies, that I didn’t really mind.
Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area – but give Pizza East a miss!