We were invited to Homeslice Pizza to check out their new restaurant in Wells Street which opened in September. After success of their Covent Garden location, at Neal’s Yard, they are spreading their love to Fitzrovia in W1 and Old Street in Shoreditch. Homeboy and I are big pizza fans so we accepted their invitation and headed on down to sample their wood fired creations. The gigantic 20” pizzas topped with premium seasonal ingredients are quite something. The option to split this 50/50 by ordering two toppings is perfect for people who love sharing and don’t mind getting messy by eating with their hands. If you’re looking for Pizza Fitzrovia, good places to eat in central London or food in Covent Garden you will just love Homeslice Pizza.
Just Look For The Pizza Sign
Homeslice Pizza Menu
Before I tell you about the pizza menu I’ll give you some background. Homeslice began in 2011 by Ry Jessup who had previously worked for Caravan as a pizza chef. He decided to head off with a mobile wood fired oven to various events from London Fields Brewery to Kerb, Street Feast and Frieze. In 2012 Ry landed a residency at the Kings Cross Filing Station thanks to his super tasty pizzas. So you could say that Ry really has road tested his pizzas and done his market research on which flavour combinations the punters loved.
What a Massive Wood Fire Oven
It was when Ry met Mark Wogan that things took off. Mark is the son of Sir Terry Wogan and he previously worked as executive chef at The Groucho Club. With Mark’s brother Alan coming on board to help with the administration side, it was a great team. In 2013 they launched their first small restaurant in Neal’s Yard Covent Garden and are slowly building their empire. Fitzrovia is their second establishment and Shoreditch will be soon.
Perfect Pizza Pieces
The idea behind the restaurant is one of simplicity – to serve a concise pizza menu which features a combination of classics plus unique flavour combinations using quality seasonal ingredients. Pizza is the only food they sell. There are no sides, salads or desserts so it really is a hang out for pizza fanatics. If you are lovers in the biblical sense, that helps because the pizzas are so big, a whopping 20” that you need someone to share them with. If you can’t make a decision on the toppings you can order the 50/50 which is a combo of two flavours. Your pizza is served on a big round wooden board and you get a pizza cutter so you are in total control of your portions. With a paper plate and serviettes you are good to go. There are no knives and forks so wash your hands before you sit down. Things are going to get messy so try and hold the pizza a good distance from your chest to avoid spillage and lick your fingers in between bites.
As for those pizzas, well they taste pretty darn good. This is because the dough, sauces and oils are made in house so everything is exceptionally fresh and tasty. The dough uses a high protein German 405 flour, yeast, water and salt and is left to age for 24 hours to achieve a distinctive flavour and texture. The all-important tomato sauce covering the base features A grade tomatoes form Italy along with extra virgin olive oil which is infused with garlic and a dash of chilli along with sea salt. Sometimes they will use a vegetable sauce instead like their cauliflower cheese which will be made from blitzing veggies. The mozzarella is from Naples whereas other cheeses are supplied by Neal’s Yard Dairy. Ingredients for toppings are responsibly sourced and purchased locally where possible from credible suppliers which are listed on the website. When the pizza is topped it will be cooked at 500 degrees Celsius for 60-90 seconds which is really quick! There are likely to be a few charred bits on the edges which were nice and crispy.
They have a loyal following of fans who can’t get enough of their whopping 20” pizzas. If you are dining solo you can go for the top three slices instead. There are usually around ten pizza variations on offer. The list will change every one to two months depending on the seasonal ingredients available and popularity. Each restaurant will have one pizza which is different from the others to keep things a little special. This was the list from Wells Street when we ate there …
- Mushroom with ricotta, pumpkin seed and chilli
- Aubergine, cauliflower cheese, spinach and harissa
- Calabrian peppers, chervil and Lincolnshire poacher (cheese)
- Caramelised onions, Kalamata olives and anchovy
- Salami, rocket and Parmesan
- Chorizo, corn and coriander
- Goat shoulder, savoy cabbage and sumac yogurt
- Pulled BBQ brisket with pickles
Our 50/50 Pizza
We tried a 50/50 of the Caprese which had the most amazing creamy mozzarella on top and plenty of fresh basil leaves. Their home-made tomato sauce is just so great that I could eat it by the spoonful. The other half was the cauliflower cheese base topped with aubergine, spinach and harissa. This was something a bit different and was a great combination of flavours. You get the cauliflower cheese for comfort and the harissa spices things up and it had quite a kick to it. We also had a couple of slices for the mushroom with ricotta, pumpkin seed and chilli. It had plenty of mushrooms scattered on top and was just fantastic. I must say that if you love pizza you must check out this place.
Our Mushroom Slice
The drinks list includes rotating local craft beers by the bottle from London breweries ranging from The Kernel, Partizan Brewing, Pressure Drop Brewery and East London Brewing Company. Camden Hells Larger is available on tap which they believe is the perfect accompaniment to their pizza. You can also order Frizzante Prosecco which is on tap or from a small selection of wines from white to rose and red. These will be from independent vineyards who make affordable biodynamic and organic varieties. Soft drinks include Old Jamaican Ginger Beer, San Pellegrino Limonata and Sparkling Water plus Johnsons Apple Juice and Orange Juice. A small selection of cocktails are also served at the Wells Street branch and I tried the plum and thyme fizz which was very good. You can also pop in just for a drink if you head downstairs where they have a bar area in the basement.
Homeslice Pizza Restaurant Interiors
When you arrive outside you’ll see the awning and a couple of tables on the street. There are two sets of doors, one into the restaurant, the other is where you can order the take-out pizza. Inside is actually a lot bigger than you think it’s going to be. It is an open room with a good view of the massive wood fire oven so you can watch your pizza being created and cooked.
View of The Massive Wood Fire Oven
The interiors have been designed by Alexander Waterworth. It is on the rustic industrial tip with a mix of bare brick and painted walls. With minimal decoration it is sparse. Quite a lot of reclaimed materials have been used in the process which includes the light fittings. You’ll find a mix of communal tables and a couple of booths. Downstairs is the bar area and the toilets.
Industrial Style Interior
It’s a nice place to hang out with a bunch of friends or a date and enjoy a perfect pizza. Clientele in this branch are nearby workers from creative and other industries. The Covent Garden location is frequented by pre-theatre diners, tourists and people out shopping. Enjoy!
Homeslice Pizza Restaurant Information
Cuisine: Wood fired pizza
Price: £20 for 20” pizza and around £4 per slice
Website: Homeslice Pizza
Address: 52 Wells Street W1T 3PR, 13 Neal’s Yard WC2H 9DP and 374-378 Old Street EC1V 9 LT
Near: Wells Street branch is near Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Great Portland Street
Open: Monday to Saturday 12pm-11pm and Sunday 12pm-10pm
Décor: Light industrial
Seating: 120 covers including bar area
Reservations: No, but if you pop in and they can’t seat you immediately they will take your mobile number and give you a call
Service Charge: No
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London and from the restaurant. Thanks: Rachael Whittle. Disclosure: This meal was courtesy of the restaurant.