Courtesy of a business trip, the Pizza Snob made his first trip to London in almost twenty years. While planning my visit, I simply could not resist the temptation to have my first international pizza-eating experience. A web search for “New York-style pizza in London” led me right to Mulberry Street where they boasted of being the only such place in London and being voted the “No. 1 Pizza in South East” by The Times.
My expectations were lower than low. The photos of their pie did not look appealing. They also took their name from the main street in Manhattan’s Little Italy—a place where you will find lots of great Italian food but not a single pizza joint. I wondered how bad their pizza would be considering the likelihood that they would not have access to the proper ingredients. Would it be the wrong cheese, sauce or dough? Or would it be a complete disaster?
After checking in at my flat, my enthusiasm made Mulberry Street my first London destination. It was quite easy to locate and was just a short walk from the Bayswater tube station. Upon my arrival I encountered two small problems: they had yet to open for noontime lunch and they were cash-only. I took a short trip back to the high street where I killed a few minutes converting some dollars for pounds. I was now ready.
The room was small and seated only about a dozen. The counter seating was lined with empty china plates. I was their first customer of the day and was surprised to see that they sold slices in addition to 10-inch and 20-inch pies. I ordered a single slice of Margherita for £2.75. Pizza of various types is their specialty, but they also offer other items such as salads and pastas. I could not see how they were making my slice, so I was not sure if it was being individually constructed or coming out of a whole pie.
It took several minutes for my slice, to arrive, and I was relieved to see that they were using a conventional pizza oven. Their contradiction of categorizing NY-Style with the name of something more akin to Brooklyn gave me some concern. My eyes could not believe what I saw: Served up on a china plate (without a knife and fork) was a spot-on perfect looking New York slice! Without hesitation, I folded it and bit in to find a slice so good that I felt transported across the ocean! The ingredients were all classic in taste and downright delicious. The crust was cooked to perfection—crisp and charred on the bottom. The tip of the slice may have been slightly flaccid from a tad too much oil (my slice was what I like to call a “drainer”), but I didn’t mind. The end crust was a little dry; nonetheless, it was good and crunchy. Without a doubt, this was a fabulous slice of pizza—hot, fresh and tasty!
After finishing, I spotted the cook behind the counter. I told him that I was from New York and asked him where he learned to make such great pizza. He replied only with a blushing smile—he knew he was making good pizza!
I had meetings with several ex-Patriots over the next few days and shared with them the joys of my discovery. I have a feeling that Mulberry Street is going to see quite a few more homesick Americans stopping in for a quick slice. I can’t yet speak from experience, but I just can’t imagine there being a better slice of pizza in all of England. Likewise, the pizza of Mulberry Street would hold its own anywhere in the United States. What a truly unexpected experience this was.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
47 Moscow Road
London W2 4AH, UK
44 20 7313 6789