Franco Manca: best sourdough stonebaked pizza in London

Their website says, “THE PIZZA IS MADE FROM SLOW-RISING SOURDOUGH (MINIMUM 20 HOURS) AND IS BAKED IN A WOOD BURNING ‘TUFAE’ BRICK OVEN MADE ON SITE BY SPECIALISED ARTISANS FROM NAPLES. THIS OVEN PRODUCES A HEAT OF ABOUT 500C (930F). THE SLOW LEVITATION AND BLAST-COOKING PROCESS LOCK IN THE FLOUR’S NATURAL AROMA AND MOISTURE GIVING A SOFT, EASILY DIGESTIBLE CRUST. AS A RESULT, THE EDGE (CORNICIONE) IS EXCELLENT AND SHOULDN’T BE DISCARDED.”

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Franco Manca in Balham

Pizzas here are all very simple, just as how Italian pizzas should be. There are only 6 pizza options by default. All pizzas have 5/6 simple ingredients (although you can choose to add additional ingredients), but when the pizza base is this good, you don’t need an excessive amount of toppings to over power and confuse your palate.

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Quite empty early evening at 6pm on a weekday – by the time we left, it was packed

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Pizzas in the making of

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Wood burning ‘tufae’ brick oven

We’ve had 3 types of pizzas here on 2 different occasions.

The first time we visited, we actually did a takeaway (it was 3pm for a late lunch, to be followed by the famous Sushi Tetsu dinner. Very hungry yet cannot get over full). The restaurant was full, yet it still delivered the food within 10 minutes. We couldn’t be happier with a nice stone baked good Italian pizza on a cold and sunny winter weekend afternoon.

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Wild broccoli, mozzarella, gloucester old spot hand sliced sausage, no tomato, £6.75

We loved it to bits. Plain and simple, yet just enough wild broccoli and sliced sausage to give an explosion of Italian flavour every other mouth full. Wild broccoli leafs, according to their website, is a mineral vegetable with strong flavours of iron and a pleasant bitter aftertaste. It was a nice and interesting addition to the pizza, and we like it so much that we added it as extras to the subsequent two pizza’s we had during our next visit.

On our second visit, it was a restaurant eat-in meal and we ordered a salad to share and 2 pizzas.

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Mixed Leaf Salad £2.25

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Tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovies & mozzarella £6.70 – olives replaced with wild broccoli

This was very nice when you have only two bites, but we both found that there were a tad too much capers and anchovies. Every mouth full had capers and anchovies which meant the saltiness added up so much that I had to take a sip of water for every bite. Still a very nice pizza but perhaps could cut down on the salty ingredients and replace with something less savoury.

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Gloucester old spot ham (home cured), mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, wild mushrooms (little tomato) £6.85 – with additional wild broccoli

A pizza with meat, cheese and wild veg. What more can I say than, yuuuummmm. Each dollop of ricotta intensifies the pizza with a mouth full of creaminess. The wild mushroom and wild broccoli adds a certain level of finesse to the whole thing.

Give people the option of having a pizza half the size, open a takeaway/sit in restaurant in the Square Mile. I guarantee you there will be a queue of city workers every single day. This is one of the best pizza restaurants we have been to in the recent year, and we certainly will be re-visiting again very soon.

Damage to pocket: £10 per head
Number of accumulated visits: 2
Date of visit: Since March 2014
Will we return? Yes

Franco Manca on Urbanspoon

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