Yet More Pizza.

During my regular bedtime doomscrolling, I happened across a provocative post.  The post – I can’t remember where it originated from – claimed that Europe’s third best pizza can be found in London.  A bold claim, but since substantiated on 50 Top Pizza’s website.  Fresh off the back of a near-perfect Margherita at Jacuzzi and the wondrousness of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele still emblazoned in our minds, we headed off to see what the hype was about.

The restaurant in question is called 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo Pizzeria, but for the salvation of my own sanity I will call it Kalò.  It’s to be found at Charing Cross, a locale not known for the quality of its food and beverage, unless you’re a pigeon.  Located on Northumberland Avenue, Kalò is unassuming on the outside and equally so when you enter.  A lovely room in a storied building has been furnished with bargain-basement chairs and tables set far too close together.  The bar looks like one you might find on a train, and even the open kitchen looks a bit canteeny, even with its roaring wood-fired oven taking centre stage.

All this said, Kalò is full, and I mean FULL.  We’re early and can’t be seated straightaway.  The minute a two-top leaves, it’s reset in seconds and we squeeze into the vacant space in a similar movement to how I lower my two-metre frame into a Ryanair window seat.

The menu is simple.  There are only a handful of starters, such as croquettes and arancini, and a similar number of salads.  There are around 5,374,733 different pizzas, some fried, some Neapolitan, some vegetarian, some white, some not.  We order potato croquettes with smoked Provola and Pecorino, and a pair of Aperol spritzes, which go down far too easily and are closely followed by two more.  We debate the pizzas, but ultimately settle on a Margherita con Bufala (why not) and a Diavola, made with ‘Nduja and Fior Di Latte.

The croquettes turn out to be a croquette.  This, and the fact that the drinks hadn’t arrived before the food, pissed off The European from the get-go.  Nevertheless, the croquette, once pathetically halved and shared, was tasty, seasoned well and oozing with cheese, while miraculously not being greasy.  The spritzes arrived shortly after, and, not long after that, the pizzas.  Service may have gotten off to a slow start but in general it was good, with servers being both friendly and efficient.

The pizzas were good, but we struggled to differentiate between Jacuzzi or L’Antica.  There really isn’t much in it.  Kalò’s base was incredible: salty sourdough and thin as a wafer. Casa Marrazzo crushed tomatoes and Mozzarella Di Bufala collided in harmony.  We did feel that literally the only difference between our two pizzas was the ‘Nduja, which was amusing.  The price of the main event was £fifteen per pizza which, though cheap, is more than Kalò’s competitors.  The whole bill was £eighty.  As always, a significant chunk of that was booze.

We skipped dessert (though we had a couple of espressos, and bonus points must be award for them serving Kimbo) and made plans to head to Snog but fell into Buns at Home instead.  Overall, a doughy lunch but not one I regret.  Kalò offers an excellent pizza that is probably worthy of its spot in the list of the fifty best, but I’d say that on atmosphere and price alone, Big Mamma’s restaurants or L’Antica has the edge.  That said, it’s encouraging to find a quality restaurant in a gastronomically unloved part of town.  If you’re at Trafalgar Square to get involved in a protest or feed the wildlife, drop in afterwards for a bite!

Visited on 13th May 2023.

One starter, two pizzas, two coffees, and a couple of rounds of Aperol Spritzes came to just over £eighty.

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