Il Gelato, Teddington

Il Gelato Pizza

Price: £2.50

Review: Il Gelato is actually an ice cream/dessert cafe. It has recently started serving pizzas so I went along and took a margherita home in a take-away box.

On initial thoughts, the pizza didn’t look very appetising. I was disappointed when I tasted it. The cheese had no flavour and had just been kind of thrown on. The base was thicker at the edge and a bit soggy in the middle. Its texture was rugged and interesting, but the taste let it down.

The tomato was the highlight of this pizza – a rich, thick sauce with a lot of delicious flavour. Unfortunately the cheese and the base let it down.

Overall, it wasn’t really a pizza – more like a piece of bread with tomato and cheese on. It’s intended as a snack. I’d much rather go to a restaurant for a proper pizza.

Rating: 1/10

Would I have it again? No – I’ll stick to Il Gelato for desserts!

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Il Casale, Hampton Hill

 

Il Casale pizza in Hampton Hill

Price: £6.80

Review: Il Casale is a new Italian restaurant in Hampton Hill, managed by Italians, so I expected the pizza to be authentic. I wasn’t disappointed. 🙂 The pizza was big with a thin crispy base around the edge. Unfortunately towards the middle of the pizza, the base lost its crispness and became a bit wet and soggy.

The pizza was covered in a medium layer of  tomato sauce and decorated with a couple of basil leaves in the middle. This pizza is definitely not for you if you love cheese – the cheese was lacking in this pizza. It was quite salty, so if you like a more delicate flavour this may not be for you either! However I really enjoyed the pizza – the tomato had a rich, dominating taste and it was big enough to be filling!

Rating: 7/10

Would I have it again? Friendly staff, nice restaurant, good value pizza but it wasn’t ‘finesse’ enough for me. There was too much tomato and not enough seasoning or cheese. I would have also preferred a crispier base all the way through!

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Prezzo, Kingston upon Thames

Prezzo marghertia

Website: http://www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk

Description: Fresh basil, mozzarella, tomato

Price: £6.95

Review: A really nice pizza. It came hot and was decorated with two basil leaves in artistic arrangement. Having done the taste test, the margherita was a lot better than at the Frankie and Benny’s restaurant next door! This pizza had the ‘refined’ look and taste. Although it’s far from my favourite, it was very pleasant. One thing I noticed in particular, was that the tomato sauce was very rich and flavoursome. Although there wasn’t an extortionate amount of tomato on the pizza, I could really taste it, a lot more than the cheese. The base was crispy and neither too dry or too wet.

The pizza looked and tasted very similar to the Zizzi pizza.

Rating: 6/10

Would I have it again? I would, but it wouldn’t be my first, second or third choice! It’s a nice Italian refined pizza in a classy, glamorous setting.

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Frankie & Benny’s, Kingston upon Thames

Frankie and Benny's Margherita

Website: http://www.frankieandbennys.com

Description: Melted mozzarella and fresh sliced tomato on our tomato topped base. Simple but delicious!

Price: £7.95

Review: There was a choice of either a 10 inch or 15 inch pizza (family size). I had the 10 inch, which turned out to be really small, like a child’s size. I would definitely have the larger one next time. The pizza looked a bit plain and basic. There were a few fresh tomatoes on the top but there was a lack of visible seasoning. The base was thin, fluffy-ish and very white. The base tasted OK but could definitely have been much crispier – in fact, the centre was almost a bit soggy. The taste of the pizza was nice, though it lacked the authenticity of Italian cuisine. I actually thought of this pizza as American, rather than Italian. It tasted like a cheap base, with some tomato sauce and mozzarella just thrown on top.

Rating: 3/10

Would I have it again? No I wouldn’t. The pizza was small, very expensive, and did not bring across the flavour or appearance of authentic Italian cuisine.

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Canta Napoli, Teddington – Another visit

Great service at Canta Napoli, a free Panettone for Christmas, and a delicious margherita pizza with fresh basil! Looking back at my first post about Canta Napoli in December 2010, the appearance and taste of the pizza has not changed. This is very good news since their pizzas are delicious, it would be a shame if the recipe changed for the worse.

canta-napoli-pizza

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Red Peppers, Teddington – A Now and Then Comparison

I visit Red Peppers every couple of months. I thought I’d make a ‘comparison’ post from my last post on 27 July 2010. It seems a lot has changed over the last year…

THEN:

red-peppers-margarita-pizza

NOW:

red-peppers-margherita-pizza

Description Then: Classic cheese & tomato pizza with fresh basil, plum tomatoes and mozzarella

Description Now: Simply tomato and mozzarella

Price Then: £5.75

Price Now: £5.95

Review: You can see from the photo how much their pizza has changed. The original margherita pizza was really special, and it looked it! This current version is a disappointment – it has a lot more cheese, less tomato and less colour. There are no fresh plum tomatoes and no fresh herbs. It’s a bit like dried basil has been sprinkled over the top. The current base is flat, whereas the previous was really light, fluffy yet crispy, and airy. Also, the current pizza tastes more salty – not overly salty, but I can definitely taste the salt.

Fortunately the ambiance and service of the restaurant hasn’t changed. It’s still up there as one of my favourite places to eat. The service is first class and the staff are brilliant. The restaurant has cosy, warming character.

Rating Then: 10/10

Rating Now: 6/10

Overall, a disappointing change to recipe and most likely a new chef? I think the two photos speak volumes. Just look how different they are and how bland the current pizza looks.

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Red Peppers, Teddington, now calls itself a “Pizzeria”

Red Peppers is a great restaurant, and as you know, I LOVE their pizzas. It was cool to see they’d changed their ‘branding’ last week, and it seems now they call themself a “Pizzeria and Grill”.

Red Peppers Pizzeria, Teddington

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La Dolce Vita, Italian Restaurant in Teddington, changes its sign

La Dolce Vita in Waldegrave Road, Teddington finally changes its sign, which I always thought was tacky and outdated!

Old:

Thanks to www.ladolcevitateddington.co.uk for photo

New:

La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant Teddington

What do you think of the new one?

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Il Mascalzone, Putney

Masalzone Restaurant Putney Pizza Margherita

Website: http://www.ilmascalzone.com

Description: Mozzarella cheese & tomato

Price: £6.80

Review: This pizza really was beautiful. It was authentically Italian with a thin crispy base. The base was one of the best I’ve had. We also had the ‘tomato bread’ starter, which was basically a pizza base with only tomato sauce on it (very delicious and popular- I saw several other people having it).

The tomato sauce on the pizza was delicious- well tasted, fresh and it just lightly covered the base. The mozzarella and tomato sauce were well balanced on the pizza, it was nearly perfect. The pizza was slightly salted and seasoned well with Italian herbs. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be coming back!

Rating: 8/10

Would I have it again? Yes, definitely in my top 3! Il Mascalzone is a beautiful, lively Italian restaurant that overlooks Putney high street. It delivered a very elegant classy meal at a good price.

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Ask, Barnes

Ask Pizza Margherita

Website: http://www.askrestaurants.com

Description: Mozzarella and tomato classic with Calabrian oregano

Price: £6.85

Review: I’ve only been to Ask once before and couldn’t remember the pizza very well, so I was really happy when my work colleagues decided to choose Ask on our staff night out. We went to the Barnes restaurant, which has a very pleasant location overlooking a green area.

I’m supposed to be rating the pizza only but I will say a little about the atmosphere. The waiter was fantastic- he was welcoming with a great sense of humour. He was also very flexible to those of us picky about the menu! The cutlery and dishes were really nice- the restaurant has definitely been thought out.

I had the Prima pizza which is the larger, thinner rolled out base so it would be more expensive than £6.85 but I’m reviewing it anyway! It came out very hot on a wooden board at a decent size (well, slightly small if I’m honest :P). First impressions were it looked a little plain- I couldn’t see any visible herbs and I’ve started to notice that I prefer my cheese a bit more melted so that it’s all over the pizza, rather than in little ‘blobs’.

I was really impressed with the tomato sauce- it was so rich and delicious, it tasted really fresh and strong! The sauce is probably one of the nicest I’ve had actually. Shame the rest of it let it down a bit. Yes it is only a margherita, but it still tasted too plain for my liking. The base was very thin which was nice, but it lacked flavour and could probably have done with a little more salt.

I think I prefer the mozzarella to come out all over the pizza, rather than in little circles all over the place.

My main disappointment was the lack of flavour. I couldn’t taste any “Calabrian oregano” at all. It’s a good thing the tomato sauce was so delicious, else it wouldn’t have tasted of much!

Rating: 6/10

Would I have it again? It’s not my first (or second, or third) choice… I really did like the tomato sauce though. Also, the pizza was highly priced at £6.85 for the standard size, i.e. not the Prima base.

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