Aug 22 2013



Rossopomodoro is an Italian restaurant focusing on pizza and I think it is quite similar to Pizza Express. Rossopomodoro has the same type of menu as Pizza Express, mainly pizzas, but also starters, some main courses and pasta courses and also a similar type of décor, very casual.

Despite the similarities with pizza express, Rossopomodoro thinks it has more of a character, as it comes from Naples where it opened its first restaurant in 1999 and apparently it is Italy’s favourite pizza restaurant. Not sure what the Rossopomodoro pizza is like in Italy, but based on London standards it is hard to think this is the favourite Italian pizza restaurant. Rossopomodoro say on their website that they make such great pizzas because they use Neapolitan chefs and use Neapolitan ingredients, but despite this great marketing I really could not see anything that different in their pizzas. I thought their pizzas were good, I love eating pizza and enjoyed most of the pizza that I had, I just did not think it was better than the average pizza you get in London

Rossopomodoro now has 6 restaurants in London and 1 in Birmingham and we went to the Notting Hill branch. When all eight of us arrived at 7pm the restaurant was almost empty and as the night progressed (I left just past 10pm) the atmosphere did not improve and the restaurant remained empty. As there was a large group of us and we were having a lot of fun, I did not really mind about the empty restaurant, but it could be a bit strange if you for example came here on a date or in a smaller group. Also the neighboring restaurants, like one of my favourite restaurants Osteria Basilico, were absolutely full, so it is a restaurant specific thing that Rossopomodoro was empty.

My friend Jimmy decided to order some starters for us to share and then all of us would order a main course, and most of us went for a pizza. Jimmy ordered some calamari, mozzarella with tomatoes and arancini (fried risotto balls) and I actually thought the starters were quite nice. It was a bit funny though as the waiter that was bringing us the arancini dropped one of them on the floor and we had to wait a bit for him to bring another one. I thought the calamari were ok, liked the mozzarella and loved the big tomato slices it was served with and actually quite liked the arancini. It was very different to the normal arancini, as usually they are small balls, but here it was one big fried ball, which was healthier, as there was more rice and less batter and I did like it, I just think I prefer the smaller ones.

My boyfriend and I had problems choosing the right pizza for us. The menu was very extensive with 15 different pizzas, but none of them really seemed that tempting for us and as one of us put it, we all felt the right pizza was there we just could not find it. My boyfriend and I love American Hot or Sloppy Guiseppe pizzas in Pizza Express and we wanted to order something similar and in the end my boyfriend settled for a pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes and spicy Neapolitan salami, which was the closest to this type of pizza we could find and it was not as good as the pizza express pizzas. They only gave you a few slices of salami, and I also personally prefer the thinner romana pizzas in Pizza Express (the Neapolitan ones have a thicker base like they served here, but still I prefer the thinner ones). I went for the pizza with a funny name called “Fru Fru” from the specialized pizza section which had 3 different separate bits (a bit like 4 seasons pizza just oval shaped and with 3 different parts). One of the parts had mozzarella and spicy Neapolitan salami, and this bit was not nice at all. I did not like it, it felt weird, not going well together, not tasty and even my boyfriend who can be a hoover and will try and eat most things did not eat it. Another part had rocket and parma ham and was quite nice and another bit was just like margarita with mozzarella and tomatoes and which I quite liked and had asked to be topped with anchovies, which I did not like when they arrived and removed. Overall the pizza was average and I would have been much happier with a different type of pizza, possibly from another restaurant.

Another thing that I did not like is the fact they did not have fresh chillies to add on the pizza whilst it was cooking. Quite a few of us on the table love spicy food and we asked for some chillies, but the waiter did not have these and he said he will bring us some chilli oil and chilli flakes. I love the fact pizza express has three different chillies (jalapenos, green chillies, sweet spicy red chillies) you can add to your pizza whilst it is cooking which in my view makes it nicer as at least you are using real vegetables as opposed to flakes and oil. You can also see pictures of what other people had during the meal, matball pizza, Fru Fru without anchovies, and two salads.

Also another bizarre thing was that despite the fact the restaurant was almost empty it, it took them a long time to bring the food and after 1h and 30 minutes of all of us being there our main course arrived and with the deserts we spent 4 hours in the restaurant. I loved the company and did not mind this at all on this particular occasion, but if I was in a hurry and just trying to get a pizza quickly, this would really annoy me.

So overall I think better (and also cheaper pizzas) are found in Pizza Express. On average a pizza in Pizza Express is £10 and here it was £12, so I would not rush back. Having said that a pizza is a thing I generally very much enjoy and I also did enjoy most bits of the pizza (apart from the awful ricotta and spicy salami bit of Fru Fru) in Rossopomodoro.

Date: 22/ 08/ 13
Location: Notting Hill
Price per person with alcohol and service charge: £45

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184 A Kensington Park Rd. W11 2ES
United Kingdom
Rossopomodoro Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 1.5