Franco Manco Expands - London
I finally made it to the new Chiswick location, and was very happy. Much bigger place than in Brixton, and more importantly for these cold winter months, very well heated. I ate at the Brixton branch a few weeks ago, and even though we were sitting inside, we still had to keep our coats on the whole meal as it was so cold.
The menu is pretty much the same as Brixton (same pizza choices on the printed menu plus two daily specials) , though there's a couple of extra choices in the non-pizza items: Budvar beer in addition to the Sam Smith Organic Blonde, cappuccino instead of just espresso, and four appetizers on the blackboard. These appetizers included Mozzarella di Buffala from Campania and a mixed cured meat platter (I forget what the other two were). I had the Mozzarella to start, and it was fine but nothing exceptional.
The pizzas are just as good as in Brixton. Beautiful charring on the outside and bottom, nice chewiness to the crust, just the right amount of tomato sauce and mozzarella on the margherita. Even though this location is farther for me, I think that's where I'll be heading for my pizza cravings till the weather gets warmer.
By the way, for pizza bianca fans, the mozzarella/ricotta/mushroom pizza is back on the menu, and both of the daily specials were white pizzas as well. I personally don't care for the mushroom pizza, as I don't like ricotta on my pizza (I tolerate it in calzones), but the little bit that I tried of the special of the day was quite good (no ricotta on that one).
Didn't try the coffee, but based on the excessively foamy cappuccino that a nearby table received, I don't think they have a proper barista. Then again, that serves them well for ordering a cappuccino after lunch. :-)
I went there today. I agree with deansa that it was a little doughier than the Brixton one, but it wasn't bad. Above average, for London.
I asked the waitress whether they took bookings or not and she didn't seem to understand what I was talking about... I guess you could just ring up...
Crass maybe but Chiswick is truly blessed if the new branch lives up to the superb standards of its Brixton parent. Consistently delicious pizza with friendly informative service. Greedygirl and I have to limit our appearances there lest we become dough-balls ourselves. Watch your house prices rocket, Chiswick-dwellers.
I ate at the Chiswick branch today, yesterday being the first day of operation.
First impression from the outside was a little annoyance. In a pretty impressive act of hubris, they had a board out the front of the shop, expounding to the people of Chiswick how exceptionally lucky they were to receive the second branch, in so many words. It seemed a bit crass.
On entry, I was greeted by a nearly empty restaurant. Yes, Franco Manca empty. I'm sure it won't last, of course. And my visit today was on a Sunday, which is another nice development over Brixton!
Important things first, is it just me or is the toilet layout a bit weird? With all the mirrors, it was quite unsettling when someone walked in while I was walking out.
Menu seemed the same as SW9, and pizzas were quite nice. Unfortunately my crust was very black in places, and yet I think it was a bit doughier than I remember in Brixton, so they probably have a little fine tuning to do on the cooking front. Service still finding its feet, but hey, it's the second day and I had no major problems. Even on day two it still beats most other pizza stores out of the water.