Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Why didn’t we love this Bury St Edmunds pizza joint?

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Walk up Abbeygate Street in Bury St Edmunds looking for a pizza and you’ll have a few places to choose from. There’s a Prezzo and a PizzaExpress, which are always reliable. There’s also a Dough&Co restaurant: one of six in Essex and Suffolk. I’d managed to grab a £10 gift card from them in a recent social media giveaway so we decided to give it a try.

 

 

Their website is full of promise. “Real wood-fired ovens”, it proclaims. “Only the best ingredients sourced directly from Italy”.

It does also say, though, that they recommend booking to avoid disappointment. Maybe failing to book was where we went wrong.

Despite being fairly quiet on a Saturday lunchtime, the place certainly looked the part. It features recycled pallet wall panelling and tables. There are flourishes of greenery and twinkling fairy lights along the wall where we were sitting. The atmosphere, overall, felt welcoming. With the semi-open plan kitchen, we could also see for ourselves that there really was a wood-fired oven in operation.

 

 

 

Looking at the menu it appeared that Dough&Co charges more than neighbouring PizzaExpress for a standard pizza. Their prices are similar to those at Prezzo down the road: around £13.50 to £17 for a 12-inch pizza. Promising authentic Italian ingredients, though, the prices weren’t completely offputting.

It’s drink prices that always astound me, though. £3.95 for a glass bottle of Diet Coke, £4 for a bottle of Frobisher’s apple juice and £5.75 for a 500ml bottle of Adnams Ghost Ship. We were already spending a fair amount before we’d even ordered our food.

With two adults and a six-year-old to feed, we decided to order two pizzas to share – and the obligatory dip for the crusts. My partner went for The Buffalo Chicken One (£16.50), with a buffalo base, fior di latte cheese, chicken breast, baby peppers and rocket. Meanwhile, I ordered The Fishy One (£16.75). It features a tomato base, fior di latte, anchovies, capers, olives, Grana Padano and rocket – and I have a penchant for salty pizza toppings.

We didn’t have to wait long for our Dough&Co pizzas to arrive. We spotted two things immediately once they came, though, and neither was positive.

First, the pizzas arrived on circular slates pretty much the same size as the pizzas themselves. We didn’t see how the restaurant servers could get the pizzas from the kitchen to the tables without their hands making contact with the food, which was slightly offputting.

The second was that the kitchen team had sprinkled both pizzas with random lettuce leaves. I don’t know about you, but to me this didn’t feel particularly authentically Italian.

With both, the dough looked as though it could have done with a little longer in the oven. It was quite pale and had neither the crunch nor the beautifully blistered parts that you’d expect from a decent wood-fired pizza. The Buffalo Chicken One certainly provided a decent level of heat thanks to the buffalo sauce base and the tangy baby peppers. The unseasoned chicken breast slices, though, were a little bland.

The Fishy One, meanwhile, had a decent number of plump, juicy capers (many of which were stolen by the child) and a good amount of cheese. The Grana Padano shavings added an extra level of delicious saltiness, and the anchovies were packed full of flavour – I’d just have liked a few more of them.

The olives, though, were disappointing. The Dough&Co website boasts about its authentic Italian ingredients but I think any Italian would recoil at these pitted black ones, which taste like the budget olives you buy in a jar for £1.10 from Sainsbury’s.

The small pot of blue cheese dip we ordered was well worth its £1.75 price tag, though: thick, creamy and chunky, it was a delicious accompaniment to the pizza crusts.

 

The Buffalo Chicken One

 

The Fishy One

 

At £48.70 (reduced to £38.70 with my gift card) for two pizzas, one dip and three drinks, it wasn’t a budget lunch by any means. While the restaurant itself was lovely, we just felt the pizzas weren’t worth the price tag – or the authentically Italian claims on the Dough&Co website. Personally, I think I’ll be sticking with PizzaExpress the next time I’m craving a pizza on Abbeygate Street.

 

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