8 July 2016

"Genuine Pizza" at Zia Lucia, Holloway Road

There are so many pizza joints in London. SO MANY. For me, it's great, as I could probably eat pizza multiple times a week and not get bored. So what does new kid on the block, Zia Lucia, bring to the table?

Firstly - location. It's on Holloway Road, about a five minute walk away from Highbury and Islington station. This pleases me because you definitely get an "up-and-coming" vibe about this road. When we visited it was their soft launch, and people were queuing out of the door to get in. So clearly a welcome addition to the area for those who choose not to get sucked into neighbouring Upper Street" (increasingly known as "Supper Street"). Zia Lucia is definitely a reason to stay local.

Secondly - the buzz. This place is your authentic Italian pizza joint. No fake Italian accents, and no imitation Italian pizza. Admittedly, the noise between colleagues and diners was quite intense - our meal wan't a relaxed one - a fair bit of shouting across the small table to be heard - so you couldn't accuse the restaurant of being *dead*. To be fair to Zia Lucia, this was probably down to the fact it was their opening week and tensions were very high, and it was craaaazy busy. I don't doubt it would be a bit more chilled if you visited for lunch, though.

"Life is too short for only one dough" - yet another reason to visit. You can choose between vegetable charcoal (black dough, but not burnt), wholemeal, gluten-free and traditional. I mean, if you're visiting, you should definitely have a pizza - but they do offer lots of tempting plates and salads as well... but we just opted for pizza.

And BOY, was it good.

I went for the Ortolana with a vegetable charcoal base - covered with creamy mozzarella, soft peppers, aubergine and courgettes. My friend went for the the Arianna (not Grande, alas), which was mozzarella, fresh sausage, taleggio, goats cheese and truffle honey, on a traditional base.

All washed down with a Aperol Spritz.

Hands down - this was the best pizza I've ever tasted. Way better than Pizza Express, better than Franco Manca (seriously), and better than a hungover Dominoes (I swear). Everything about it, the base - which tasted wood-fired, and was very light - to the sweet but slightly tart tomato and creamy, rich mozzarella, to the soft, seasoned veg. It was amazing. Obviously we polished it all off.

And I followed it with the sweetest, most unreal tirimisu ever. It almost tasted like vanilla cream in the middle. It could have done with more coffee to balance it out, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Would I return? Yes. I want to try out all of the pizza base varieties, and well as the toppings. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the best pizza I've tasted - and I've had a lot of pizza. Zia Lucia has set the standard, for sure. Welcome to Holloway Road!

Zia Lucia is now open Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:30am to 10:30pm at 157 Holloway Road - get down there, pronto.

**I was invited for Zia Lucia's soft launch week by their PR agency which allowed us 50% off the entire bill. All opinions on the tasty experience are my own

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