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Review: Sourdough Pizza at Franco Manca Pizzeria

BY Boon Koh
Published 2 March 2012
Our Review Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Its interesting to see how food trends come and go in London. Just only a year or two ago, Franco Manca was all the rage – a little pizzeria in Brixton Market, which was back an area that serious foodies turned their noses up to.

Nowadays, Franco Manca barely makes the twitter chatter, and it was easy enough to get a table there on a Friday lunchtime. Brixton market has also changed, with some hip new venues like Honest Burger and Kaosarn, where its literally impossible to get a table during the weekend.

So how is this unique sourdough pizzeria doing? Not too bad actually. The layout of Franco Manca is interesting – the kitchen and a few tables on one side of the market thoroughfare, and on the opposite side the rest of the tables. It must make working as a waitress or a waiter that much more challenging when the market is thronged!

The menu at Franco Manca is simple enough – just six different types of sourdough pizzas available. I gave the Number 5 a try – tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies, and mozzarella.

I was surprised when the pizza arrived extremely quickly – probably the quickest service I’d ever gotten, and that includes some McDonalds I have been to. Which is interesting, because I’d always thought that sourdough bread takes quite some time to rise. But digging in to the pizza, the crust was well baked, and the taste of my first sourdough pizza base was not too bad. It certainly was a welcome change from the typical pizza bases.

Toppings wise, it looked like a standard combination that you could probably find in most restaurants (I have a soft spot for anchovies!). But I don’t know if it was the sourdough bread or just the right mixture of toppings, but the flavours were really intense. Anchovies are known to bring out the flavours of other ingredients that it cooked with, like unami, but this must have been like a super anchovy.

The best part is that prices are still rather reasonable, even after its fame. And while the pizza came suspiciously too quick to be cooked properly, it actually was and tasted fabulous. Franco Manca is a great place to go when in Brixton, although it now faces stiff competition from the young upstarts just down the market.

Franco Manca
Speciality: sourdough pizzas
Address: Unit 4, Market Row, Brixton, London SW9 8LD
Tel: 020 7738 3021
Website: www.francomanca.co.uk

  • http://profiles.google.com/chopstix2steaknives Kay Shong

    Franco Manca operates a Neapolitan style pizza which has the oven blasting at 500 degrees and pizzas are cooked for no more than 90 seconds. It is expected to be quick as it did start out as a fast food. That’s the beauty of the type of pizzas that Franco Manca offers to London.

  • http://www.london-insider.co.uk Boon Koh

    I see! Thanks for clarifying that. Amazing oven – although from the outside it looks just the same as any other pizza oven.