192 Ferndale Road, SW9 8BA
phone: 020 3302 8106
Monday – Friday 12.00 noon till 11.00 pm
Saturday 11:30 am till 11.00pm
Sunday 11:30am to 10.00pm
I really would like this relatively new pizza place, part of a small chain mainly across south-east London, to do well. It’s conveniently located on Ferndale Road, at the Brixton Road end, just opposite the new Post Office. Unfortunately, on our first visit it fell a little short, particularly when up against the tough competition in the world of Brixton pizza. The name is chosen, we are told, because this is the right temperature, in Celsius, to bake a classic Italian style pizza. The cooking takes place in the traditional dome shaped and tiled wood fired oven, that is now ubiquitous in most new pizza places. Here it’s in the corner of what is already quite a tight space, with a small counter and plain wooden tables and chairs.
We went relatively early on a Monday evening and, for a while, were the only customers. The service was friendly but there was a slight mix-up with our order. There were two of us and what we wanted were a Diavola and an Ortolana. But, initially, we only got the first of these, which the waitress thought we wanted to share. To be honest the pizzas are a reasonable size and half for each of us would have been enough. And it was interesting that one-between-two was seen as an acceptable order. However, as much out of dedication to you, our readers, as to our appetites, we got the Ortolana as well. This did have an advantage, in that each pizza, when eaten, was not as cold as they would have been if served together.
These are your standard thin Napoli style pizzas. The Diavola is described as having fior di latte cheese, crushed tomatoes, salame picante, basil and extra virgin olive oil. You can see from the photograph below that the basil was more of a gesture than an actual ingredient. The main problems was that cheese was rather solid and increasingly rubbery as it cooled down; not melted and bubbly how I like it. And the base under the topping was simply not cooked enough, although the crust was fine. I couldn’t help wondering whether, coming early as we did, the oven had not actually reached 500C. I did like the garnish of miniature tomatoes.
The Ortolana is fior di latte cheese, mixed peppers, aubergine, basil and extra virgin olive oil. This time the basil made it onto the topping but again, the cheese while tasty, was underwhelming and, I’m sorry to say, just sat a bit heavy in the stomach. The vegetable toppings were fine. For those who don’t know, myself included as I had to look it up, fior di latte is a mozzarella style cheese but made with milk from cows, rather than water buffalo. It is also a lot cheaper.
We just drank tap water and the cost for the two pizzas was £17.10 before adding service. So there’s nothing bad about the place and, having read other more positive reviews, it’s quite possible that the problems we encountered were just a hiccough. The difficulty, as mentioned, is that this is now a highly competitive market with several good choices that, on this showing, are likely to be a better bet.
500 Degrees wasn’t doing home delivery when we had our recent comparison of home delivery pizza in Brixton but from the website it appears that this is now possible, although not online.