Pizza, Pizza, Pizza. It's everywhere now. North, East, South, West; Shayan likes to travel for what is best.
Or what I hope is best.
This excursion and adventure was instigated by Josie and off we went to Santa Maria Pizzeria in Chelsea. I had not heard of them before but did my research and started to get excited.
Having had a successful restaurant in Ealing, the crew decided to open part two in Chelsea. Focusing on traditional Napoletena Pizza, they aspire to feed everyone with an authentic taste of Naples and providing 'Quality and Quantity at honest prices'.
Being with Laura and her sister, I was able to experience Santa Maria with two people who have been to Naples and experienced the authentic thing. Their opinion was important (as always) this time.
We were very hungry this lunch time, so as a start we went for Bruschetta (which was topped with tomatoes, garlic, oregano and oil), Aubergines Parmigiana (aubergines cooked in olive oil, with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil), Smoked Mozzarella Balls in a tomato sauce and FINALLY Burrata Pugliese ( Stuffed cheese in cheese with rocket and roasted cherry tomatoes).
Quite a lot and all with a healthy portion of freshly baked bread.
A good, filling start from Santa Maria, with the rich tomato sauce and cheese keeping us happy.
A good start, now for the Pizza.
We had to wait...
a long while. We waited to get their attention...
to ask about our Pizzas and then...
waited some more for the Pizza to finally arrive. I am not sure why it took so long; one of the key facts of cooking Pizza is the hot ovens which allow the food to be cooked so quickly. This Sunday wasn't particularly busy either, but still we waited. We were three unhappy and fed up customers.
The Pizza had better be worth it.
Unfortunately, the Pizza was not that good. We had all ordered differently. One Calzone, a ham, rocket and tomato Pizza and one Ham, Artichoke and mushroom Pizza. Three strong choices.
That is what we thought and hoped, but Santa Maria was not able to deliver on flavour and taste. Things just seemed to be missing. Seasoning was lacking from the Pizza; the urge you get of wanting to eat more and more was not there with our Pizzas. The bite and crunch of the base and dough was missing and although the base was nice and fluffy, it lacked that char and bite from a wood fired oven that we all wanted.
The bad service and Pizza not really living up to current London standards meant this visit became more of a social thing rather than a foodie experience.
It was a good start, a mediocre middle and the same with the ending; once again left waiting to leave and pay the bill. Put the customers first and I am sure the rest will sort itself out. I don't think I will be back to try this place.
I do hope the Pizza is better in Naples.