Franco Manca Pizza @ Westfield Stratford City

ロンドンで美味しいピッツァを探すと必ず出て来るのが、このFranco Manca(フランコ・マンカ→参考:Time Out / Young & Foodish / Zagat)。ロンドン南部Brixton(ブリクストン)にある本店の他、西部のChiswick(チズィック)にも支店があるが、どちらも家から遠いので、ずっと行きそびれていた。それが最近、Westfield Stratford Cityにもテナントとして入っていると知り、オリンピック・パークに来た折り(過去のエントリー)に試してみた。

ウェブサイトによると、Franco Mancaのピッツァは、本場ナポリからやってきたピザ職人の手によって、最低20時間かけてゆっくり発酵させたサワードウを使って、レンガ製薪窯で作られる。トッピングがのった部分だけでなく、小麦粉のナチュラルなアロマが詰まった、ふんわり柔らかく膨れた「Cornicione(コルニチョーネ。イタリア語でピザの端)」も、とても美味しいので、残さないで食べて欲しいとのこと。出てきたピッツァは見た目も麗しく、期待は最高潮に。ナポリの南・サレルノで7月・8月のみ収穫された、缶入りでも冷凍でもないフレッシュなトマトから作られたソースは甘くて美味しい。イタリアのチーズ職人の指導を受けて、イングランド南西部のサマセットにあるAlham Wood Organicsが生産したモッツァレラチーズも柔らかくとろけて、トマトソースとのハーモニーもいい。噂どおり、味は悪くない。悪くないが、期待値があまりにも高かったため、はっきり言って思ったより普通。最近ピッツァの美味しい店を幾つか発見、それらと比べて特段美味しいと思えなかった。混んだショッピングモールというセッティングも心理的に影響したかもしれない。Time Outによると、現在は経営者が変わっているとのこと。それでもロンドンで一番美味しくリーズナブルだと言っているが、もしかしたら味が少し落ちてしまったのかも。

以前はロンドンで美味しいピッツァを探すのに苦労したものだが、今はどこで食べるか迷うほど。ロンドンのピッツァも随分進化したなと嬉しく思う。

Every time I look for good places for pizza, this Franco Manca comes up on search (reference: Time Out / Young & Foodish / Zagat). Other than their original Brixton venue, there is also one in Chiswick, but both of them are too far from us and we had not have a chance to eat so far. However, we happened to know that they opened the new eatery at Westfield Stratford City, so we tried it when I went to see the game at the Olympic Park (see my past entry).

According to their website, their pizza is made from slow-rising sourdough (minimum 20 hours) and is baked in a wood burning brick oven made on site by specialised artisans from Naples. The flour’s natural aroma and moisture is locked in the pizza crust, so even the edge (‘cornicione’ in Italian) is excellent and shouldn’t be discarded, according to them. In fact, the pizza came out from the oven looked very nice, and our expectation reached to the maximum. The sauce made of tomatoes from Salerno (south of Naples), which are picked only July and August and are not canned or frozen, was very fresh and sweet, and had a great harmony with melted Mozzarella cheese produced by Alham Wood Organics in Somerset. Yes it was not bad, but the pizza was just slightly above average – maybe we expected too much or we were psychologically affected by its setting in a shopping mall eating with lots of people. We found several places for good pizza recently and even compared to those, Franco Manca’s was not so special. According to Time Out, the management has changed from the original founders, and taste might have changed, though Time Out believes that Franco Manca is the best and the most reasonably priced pizza in London.

It used to be quite hard for us to find the good pizza in London several years ago, but now we have handful in our list and sometimes we can’t decide where to eat. We are very happy that London’s pizza scene has been improved since!

ピッツァ・マルガリータにアンチョビとケイパーをトッピング / Pizza Margherita plus extra anchovies and capers

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