I don’t have many New Year’s Resolutions, but one of them is not letting this blog slip. I have a huge backlog of posts from over the Christmas period (I got impatient and have already put up most of it up on Instagram). Rather than letting that happen again, I’ll be cheating ever so slightly and writing a quick and dirty post about my experience last night (nothing like that, you reprobates).
Firstly – my friend is moving to South Africa. Secondly, she only went and blagged herself her a huge promotion and is now Head of Sales at a new company (if you knew her, you’d know she was a wreckhead, and this makes it doubly impressive). I’m missing her leaving do so mini-celebrations were in order. She wanted red wine, I wanted pizza (after sacking off yoga). Central was the chosen location. There was only one thing for it – Homeslice in Covent Garden.
Homeslice has been one of my favourite pizza joints on and off for years, jostling for place with Yardsale and Franco Manca’s (FM, you my number one, boo). I LOVE the dough at Homeslice – it’s salty, with a squidgy crust and firm centre. I also love that they used to serve you a litre of wine (house only, no choice) and measure how much you’ve drunk with a yardstick. Which means you end up drinking a shit load and get horribly drunk, but hey. It’s FUN. Although that’s all changed – the waiter very mysteriously wouldn’t tell us why, but you can only buy by the litre or a carafe, now. Something about them ‘never really being allowed’ to do the whole yardstick approach. Shame.
I also love that they don’t have cutlery and serve you paper party plates and a paper towel dispenser taken from a 1950’s diner. I brought another friend here once – she’s terribly posh but don’t judge her – and she complained about the lack of cutlery to the staff. I mean she ACTUALLY made a complaint about it. “What am I, an animal?!” she declared, licking tomato sauce and dribbling mozzarella off her fingers. Aren’t we all.
The second (third, fourth? I’ve lost count) reason I love Homeslice is because of the VIBE. It’s always rammed – usually you leave your number and they call you when the table is free. This time, we snuck in after a ten minute wait – unheard of. The seating is cosy and the pizzas are bigger than the table – more often than not, you end up sharing more than elbow room with your fellow diners, and end up having a conversation or two. It’s loud, but intimate at the same time. I love that.
Now, onto the pizza itself. One of the reasons Homeslice falls out of grace for me is the bizarre toppings – which I can never resist. Last time, I essentially had a kebab on a pizza. Which I didn’t love (I think there was salad cream involved). The options are as follows – a few of the classics are available by the slice, but most choose a 20” for £20, which you can half and half. It’s a bloody bargain.
I ALWAYS get half salami, rocket and parmesan. It is the best one. Always have it. Then I like to get a weird one – although we played it veritably safe this time, with mushrooms, ricotta, pumpkin seeds and chilli. My losing battle to be a vegetarian has led me to discover that mushrooms are the bomb and now if they are ever on anything I must order it immediately.
Predictably, the salami half was perfection. A little shy on the mozzarella, but thick, generous wedges of parmesan more than balanced it out. The salami was wafer thin, with none of that metallic after taste you sometimes get when cold salami gets heated. The mushroom half was an odd one – delicious at first, piled thick and high with sliced buttons. The ricotta was moreishly sweet, but quickly became overpowering, almost sickly, and I struggled to finish it (I left half a slice, maybe. Damning.)
All in all, Homeslice is still the shit. If you’re looking for cheap, cheerful, weird and most of all delicious pizza toppings, this is the place for you. They recently opened a branch in Shoreditch too, which is good for lazy gluttons like me. Go there, drink wine, mourn the yardstick, and have fun. Just remember – you must always order the salami flavour. ALWAYS.
13 Neal’s Yard
London WC2H 9DP
£39 for two, with service and a carafe of wine
Four out of five stars