If I offer up pizza as a dinner option to my husband it normally doesn't matter where, how or why; as long as it's hot, as long as there's cheese and as long as he's lounging about with unbuttoned jeans (awkward) by the end of it, he's nay fussed on either quality or source. A place that finally pricked his ears up? One of the only restaurants in London where Chicago-style deep dish slices come as standard.
Japes is a pretty laid back spot come a Sunday afternoon, with less than 30% of the tables full, but I don't always take stock of fellow diners, at least not when the pizzas do most of the talking.
What Boomerang was made for, and what influencers strive to get on their feed, the pizzas at Japes are all about performance. Niagara Falls, but with dairy, cheese drips down the side of slices in more of an elegant, less gushing fashion, while pies almost two inches thick are brimming with hot tomato bubbles.
Hungry after a meek (but nonetheless tasty) Greek salad to kick things off, my husband and I let the show to commence. Keeping things classic, I opt for an overwhelmingly affordable £6.95 margherita topped up with olives (Japes make customising pies easy), while my pizza-loving partner goes googly eyed over the same, simply topped with more mushrooms and onion for bite, both accompanied by a blue cheese sauce and a smoked pepper sauce at a hard to swallow £1.95 each.
I hear your horror already, seeing as we opted for the most humble slices in the business. But if you can't even get those right, why bother? And bother Japes should.
While the blue cheese sauce was a watered down waste and didn't contribute much if anything, the pizza itself was glorious in texture and flavour combined. They may have been mammoth in size, but these stringy slices served up an authentic taste, with deep diving flavours that kept things rich, without being overpowering. I felt saved.
Sadly, for all their social fame, Japes sadly aren't very strong when it comes to service. Served by a nonchalant waiter at best, our server for the afternoon felt seemingly unbothered by our time spent at the table, at one point standing directly behind my chair to watch Soho life pass by. Had I needed to get up? I think I might have been even more of a bother.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Will the Japes self help book* be easier to digest than the size of its slices? Who knows. All I know is that while its got plenty to shout about (and the slices sure do front flavour), a little more could be done in the service department to make sure that Instagram notoriety is matched by experience.
*not a confirmed publication, don't come for me.