When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza Pi… that’s amore. Turns out that Dean Martin was actually singing about this beautiful new restaurant on Battersea Rise, where pizza is king, service is top and the puddings are definitely worth making room for. Here's how we got on...
Those who know Battersea Rise well will know that the road is packed with great restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. You’ll pass the majority of those as you walk towards Pi, which can be found not long before the approach to Clapham Common. The original Pi Pizza was born in Winchester 4 years ago, when first time restaurateur Rosie Whaley was inspired to serve simple, exceptional and honest food in a vibrant atmosphere following a stint working in a Florence pizzeria. Now, having finally made the move to London, Rosie’s vision continues.
Having worked in fashion design in her pre-Pi life, she was able to use her creative flair to create vibrant spaces with a buzzing yet relaxing atmosphere. Walking in, you’ll find a gorgeous canopy of red, orange and yellow flowers which sit above the bar. The walls are distressed, with bare brick and filament bulbs, providing a gentle light that welcomes you in. There are a few tables at the front, but we were walked through to a table in the next room where the floral vibes continue. Branches from a tree which takes centre stage in the room fold across the space, scraping the glass roof which during daylight hours allows the sun to pour in over the tables beneath. Think yellow banquette seating and twinkling lights which shimmer off beautiful asymmetric blue tiles on the end wall. Rosie has done an excellent job.
The Food & Drink
The menu features an authentic selection of classic Italian dishes. The team pride themselves in working with hand-picked specialist producers in Italy and local UK independent suppliers, with pizzas naturally being the main focus. To start, my friend and I both opted for the burrata with caramelised black fig (£7) which arrived with a slice of think, crisp bread. Upon slicing, the creamy insides spilled out over our plates, and we readily scooped it up with the toast and figs.
The artisan dough which creates the base for the pizzas has been perfected by a team of Italian chefs and the secret recipe involves up to a 72 hour fermentation process, resulting in a light and lean base with airy crispy crusts; perfect for theircreative menu combinations. For those of an indecisive nature, you’ll absolutely love Pi, because you can choose up to three different topping combinations on their sharing pizzas (£24), or two toppings on the pizza for one (£12.50) – though you still might find it difficult to decide which ones to go for. I went for the individual pizza topped half with pork sausage, with sliced desiree potatoes, garlic, thyme, caper crumb and Nocellara olives on a white base on one side, and the other half topped with Lebanese spiced ground lamb, Turkish yoghurt and fresh parsley. The first half had comforting flavours with the juicy sausage and the crisp slices of potato, while the second was fiery and exotic, with the yoghurt offering some cool respite.
To complete the meal, we decided it would be rude not to sample one last Italian delight. The “Cannoli" isn’t quite the traditional rolled and filled biscuit you might think of when you hear the word, but rather a gorgeous, fluffy dough filled with a choice of Nutella & hazelnuts or ricotta creme, chocolate & cinnamon. It’s probably a dessert that could be shared and we weren’t quite able to finish them, but Pi have no qualms with letting you take away a doggy bag, which was excellent news for my flatmate when I returned home.
Pi is the perfect spot for a supper with one pal or several, and with the larger sharing options available, everyone’s tastes can be catered for, from vegans to carnivores. If you want to enjoy one of these pizzas on the nearby common, you can with their take-away option, though that would mean you miss out on the excellent and friendly service from the team who clearly have a passion for the food they serve. It really is amore.