L'Oro Di Napoli, Hanwell, The best pizza in London
As a West Londoner born and bred I like to think I know my neck of the woods well. However I do have to bow down to my best mate Big Matt, a relative newcomer to 'the hood', when it comes to Ealing and it's environs. Last night he took me to Hanwell which sounds like it a suburb in Birmingham but is actually about 15 minutes away from Ealing Broadway. I have to admit it isn't the most prepossessing part of West London but that is often where you unearth some real gems. First up we met at the bijous but extraordinarily friendly Dodo Micro Pub www.thedodomicropub.com which was lovely. I've been to a few of the new breed of small beers bars before which can be a bit cramped and uncomfortable but here they had put some effort into the fit out. The array of beers wasn't too OTT with 6 cask options which were well kept & served nicely. It was a great way to start our evening, the Dodo soon filled up generating a nice buzz.
At first look the dining options in Hanwell all seemed a bit chicken shop but then I read a review on the peerless Andy Hayler website www.andyhayler.com where he waxed lyrical about a new pizza restaurant called L'Oro Di Napoli www.lorodinapolihanwell.co.uk . As it turns out Big Matt had been there for takeaway pizza after his sensible wife vetoed his usual preference Dominos. Also our mutual friend Tim Dogg was a massive fan of their sister restaurant in South Ealing. So 3 pints to the good we popped round the corner to try our luck for a table. It is not by any means a big restaurant with room for a couple of tables outside and only 2 big tables and about 4 two's inside however we were in luck and got seated straight away. I was nicely surprised to see a jug of tapwater came out straight away and was refilled constantly during our meal. The menu had a good selection of pastas and the like but what we wanted to try was their authentic woodfired pizzas. These are cooked in an impressive looking domed wood fired oven at the back of the open kitchen. The pizza menu had a good range of choices Big Matt went for a Carusa which was a mixture of meats on a traditional tomato base whilst I went for Lucio Dalla which was N'Duja with peppers, salami and cheese but no tomato. we ordered some excellent bread and olive oil to start with and waited for a pizzas.
When they came we were not disappointed. Mine was excellent, the toppings really fresh , the cheese gooey and creamy and as for the crust just wow...! It was the best pizza I've had in London. They bought us some fiery chilli oil but I actually prefered the excellent plain olive oil it came with which I dipped my crust into. The service was spot on and genuinely friendly. It was full of locals, groups of friends and families who were all made to feel welcome. I was particularly impressed by a waiter whom on hearing a little girl was a bit worried about how spicy their salami would be on her pizza actually bought out a plate of it for the whole family to try. The pizzas were enormous but being two growing middle aged men we did our duty and finished every crumb. The bill came to £36 for two which was a bargain for the standard of meal we had. It was such a treat to eat at such a lovely little restaurant like this. The good people of Ealing are so lucky to have such a gem on their doorstep.