Restaurant review: Tokyo Pizza, Maida Vale
PUBLISHED: 13:02 31 July 2020
Crusty, chewy bases with an inspired sprinkling of Japanese ingredients, it sounds as though it shouldn’t work but it really does
The culinary world is chock full of combinations which sound as though they shouldn’t work but they do.
Strawberries and pepper, chilled coffee, chili and chocolate.
And as clever chefs experiment with ever more exotic flavour fusions to see which dance on the palate, it seems the world is your lobster (with a juicy steak on the side).
So my return to London dining involved a visit to Tokyo Pizza with an open mind and heart. Run by two brothers who love eating out, the business opened in January and successfully pivoted to become a take-away during lockdown.
Based on the busy corner of Maida Vale and Clifton Gardens, the concept springs from an inspirational trip to the Japanese capital and a piece of market research that found most families order pizza at least once a week.
So if you already love this Italian comfort food, then why not push the boat out and try some new toppings?
TP’s starters are sensibly angled, with crowd-pleasers like the truly tender sweet and sticky chicken wings, and a properly crispy squid with a yuzu mayo on the side.
But there is also adventure to be had with an inspired Samon Mochi.
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The rice flour bread is topped with a peppery guacamole, a ponzu sauce (made from mirin, rice vinegar, tuna flakes and seaweed) and curls of salmon sashimi sprinkled with tempura. It’s a beautiful assembly that nods to the pizza aesthetic while delivering on Japanese flavour.
Similarly the pizzas range from the plainest of Margaritas or a salami with a twist of Japanese pepper, to a mushroom with shiitaki and enoki in a sweet soy glaze, and a melting three cheese on a garlicky base with optional green chilli sauce.
All these came with the right kind of crusty, chewy bases and were wolfed down by our kids.
My burrata salad with endamame and mizuna standing in for rocket, really worked to lift the blandness of the creamy cheese with a light teriyaki dressing.
The hotly anticipated wagyu beef pizza was dressed with a sweet sesame sauce that set off the tenderest of rare meat.
Even the drinks take an east/west turn with a yuzu and pear sparkling soft drink and my punchy vodka, ginger and sake cocktail - a lovely welcome back to the live restaurant experience.
Special mention must go to another inspired combination, the sublime apple crumble pizza topped with a creamy yuzu marscapone (think lemon custard but better) and butterscotch sauce. Dreamy.
A mochi pancake this time with sweetened aduki beans and strawberries was another sucessful fusion. Go, expand your mind and your tastebuds. Enjoy.
0203 887 1499.
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