As someone whose next business investment might as well be shares in Pizza GoGo, I used to think I knew everything there was to know about pizza, until Radio Alice came along. One of the most talked about new openings in Hoxton, I headed on down to see why their humble atmosphere, slices and seriously clued-up staff are giving pizza lovers in London a whole new way to get down with dough.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Quietly perched on Hoxton Square, it's only a subtle metal sign outreaching from the bar bricks of the building that give clue to Radio Alice's location. Greeted politely from the off, it's clear that Radio Alice don't force you into dinner, rather just glide you on through. Split between two floors, Radio Alice has kept the bare construction of the dated building, adding a simply myriad of raw, wooden dining tables, a marble topped bar, iron castings and a central pizza oven that sits proudly on the ground floor. I really like the way they've manipulated the space, keeping everything blissfully basic, adding only creative nods in the shape of baby pink menus and a soundtrack in the bathroom of classic shows from the legacy of the 70s, pirate radio station.
Offered over to a candle-lit table just next to the open-kitchen, I can't rate the service enough. Not only did our waitress remember both my face and my star sign from a previous visit, she showed that Radio Alice is there as a welcoming and charmed experience. Clued on the menu, she boasted all the best flavour facts, and helped a vegetarian and a pescatarian steer through the menu easily.
The Food and Drink
There's such a sharing atmosphere to Radio Alice, from the food down to the conversation, that means picking from the menu is made easy. Not only do I rate the simplicity and small number of plates, it's the sourcing of ingredients that make this place shine. Picking from the wine menu to kick off, Radio Alice not only promise some a petite menu that you simply cannot find anywhere else in the city (no, really, these wines are theirs and theirs alone), everything in the price bracket sits pretty from £19-£30. Opting for their sparkling wine, we started the meal with light bubbles that easily led to starters.
Opting to share the burrata with oregano and black pepper (£5.50) alongside a portion of sourdough bread and anchovies at £3, this was a light and friendly way to begin the meal. Plump, pert and velvety in texture, the burrata was more-ish, especially when paired with the salty gusto of the anchovy. I mentioned the pride that Radio Alice take in their ingredients, and that's more than found in the sheer attention paid to every pizza detail. Made from organic type 1 flour, wild yeast and fermented for 24 hours, all of their sourdough pizzas have time and attention poured into them, adding the toppings only at the end, creating fresh, light and flavoursome bites that in all honesty don't leave you slumped and stuffed. While I opted for the pizze rosse with an organic tomato base topped with fiordilatte and basil (£7), my boyfriend chowed into the similar yet distinctive pizze bianche with capers, fiaschetto tomato, basil,oregano, black pepper, fiordilatte (£12). Bold, inherently Italian and sweet with the tomato sauce, the capers added a welcomed twang to the bianche slices, while my simple pizza proved to be anything but thanks to airated dough, a phenomal tomato sauce and just the right dash of basil.
One of the biggest things to strike me about Radio Alice is the affordability. Dining out in London can feel so daunting these days, but Radio Alice keep everything well within reason, something pretty impressive considering their tact in the sourcing department. And let's be honest, £7 for one of the best pizzas i've ever had in London isn't half bad.
My job entails going to so many restaurants and downing so many plates that claiming a favourite is hard. Or at least I thought it was. Having visited Radio Alice in both a normal and work capacity, it's no lie in saying that they're leading the charge when it comes to my favourite, hidden gem. With easy dining, service with a smile and slices that seriously don't make the belly bloat, Radio Alice have cracked the dining code.