Pizzarova, who have a bricks and mortar restaurant on Gloucester Road, have gone back to their roots with the opening of the Pizzarova crate at Wapping Wharf. The brand started as a street food venture, and since May 2016, they’ve been turning out pizzas from a converted shipping container from 12pm to 10pm Monday to Saturday, and from 12pm to 5pm on Sundays.
It’s a pretty impressive-looking setup: despite the fact that there’s very little space, the team manage to create their sourdough pizzas in style, thanks to a decent-sized pizza oven.
We decided to take advantage of a Wriggle deal on a Tuesday night: a pizza for £5 instead of £9, which seemed like a bit of a bargain.
Arriving at around 6pm, there was a bit of a queue in front of us (including Deliveroo drivers) – and surprisingly, only one member of staff working. Those who had ordered before us took advantage of the seating outside the crate while waiting for their orders to be cooked…until it started to rain – they could do with a covered area for poor weather.
While we waited, we took the time to peruse the simple but tasty menu: a choice of a margherita pizza (£6) or your own choice of toppings (£9) from an extensive list. Those who are hungrier can also opt for a garlic and rosemary pizza bread (£4 – with or without cheese) or mixed olives (£2.50), and there’s even a chocolate brownie (£2) on offer for those wanting something sweet.
We made it to the front of the queue, only to be told that there were no olives or anchovies on offer that evening – we were a little surprised that they’d not been crossed from the menu boards. In order to get a decent picture of what Pizzarova has to offer (and because we’re greedy and rubbish at making decisions), we decided to order our pizza with everything (bar the olives and anchovies) on it: ham, mushrooms, chorizo, roasted garlic, red onions, mixed peppers, chilli and goat’s cheese.
Oh, and a side of the garlic and rosemary bread with cheese. It had to be done.
Order placed, we waited. And waited. All in all, we were there for about half an hour after confirming what we wanted – a little surprising, considering how little time the pizzas take to cook. Those queuing behind us were told that there would be a 25-30 minute wait for food – a number of them left as a result.
Eventually, our food was boxed, and we were asked if we wanted olive oil, pepper or rocket on our pizza – we couldn’t say no to rocket. And as we live close by and it had started to rain, we took the boxes home to enjoy in our warm, dry flat.
We were impressed by the size of the pizza – and there’s no denying that it looked beautiful too, its crust browned but not overdone, the toppings plentiful. It was served pre-sliced for ease of eating, and we were seriously impressed.
The sourdough base was lovely and crispy round the edges, but still light and airy with a great chewiness – the best pizza base we’ve had recently by far. The toppings were fantastic too: pungent roasted garlic, perfectly cooked veg, a rich and meaty chorizo, goat’s cheese that had been caramelised nicely in the oven…it was a seriously good pizza. The thin base and generosity of the toppings meant that it was a little too floppy when picked up, though, which may not appeal to some.
We were incredibly glad that we’d ordered the garlic and rosemary bread too, as this was a revelation. More of the same great dough was topped with an impressive quantity of garlicky, herby butter, packed full of flavour. They were generous with the mozzarella too, and the thick, doughy base meant that it held together well when picked up.
While the service at the Pizzarova crate was friendly, it was just a little too slow – something that we’re hoping was just down to the fact that they were a member of staff down on the night of our visit. We’re definitely already planning our next visit: the quality of the pizzas and the prices are well worth the wait.