Franco Manca, Chiswick, this chain & Chris Addison aren't quite as good as they think they are

Last week Big Matt who is in to the whole Twitter thing found out about a free gig comic Chris Addison was putting on at the Tabard theatre in Chiswick. It was a run through for a new Channel 4 series called "My favourite year" a sort of look back at the funniest aspects of recent times. I'm not hugely aware of Chris Addison's work but any excuse for a night out on the beer with Big Matt. If you haven't been to the Tabard it is worth a visit, it is a really nice old pub with great beer and a theatre up top. The gig was pretty funny but it was nearly 2 hours long and even the video of Paul Burrell doing a bush tucker trial was getting me hungry. After it had finished we swiftly sought out somewhere to eat.

Matt used to live in chiswick and 10 years ago we would often wander down Chiswick High Road doing all the pubs and ending up at "Lam's". It was always good fun but the best places were up by King St. I've not been down here for a while and it had certainly got more upscale, the new "Chiswick House" in particular looked really nice. However after a couple of beers and it only being a Monday night we decided that pizza was the best option. Matt suggested we try Franco Manca. His pitch was that it was an upmarket version Pizza Express. On walking in the first thing you see is the pizza counter with the large wood fired oven. For a Monday night it was reasonably busy and the tables were quite well spaced out unlike a lot of other places.

The menu itself is quite limited and trades heavily on the quality of the ingredients. Now I know this sort of thing impresses people but when I'm having pizza I don't really care that much that my ham went to Eton and the Mozarella used to sing free form jazz. I'm more concerned with taste, variety and price. I know I'm like everyone else and always order the same pizza but it's nice to know there are another 10 choices on the menu I don't want! Anyway we ordered some sausage type starter which was basically sausage in passata which was OK but without any bread not easy to eat. The pizza's came shortly after and were very good. A good portion plenty of topping and a crisp base. What was good was the price only about £7 per pizza which was great value I would have expected to pay nearer 10. Service was OK, not as personable as I hoped from an up and coming place like this. With beers the whole meal came to under £30 for two of us which was fantastic value. So in conclusion nice food but I'm not totally sold on the concept but the value will bring me back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

Been back since and I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, it is far from being the best pizza in London. One of these opening is now a sign of gentrification. 

Wagamama, High St Kensington

The Thomas Cubitt, Victoria, the best place to go in the area by far