Reasonably priced Italian Pizza all without taking a flight to Naples, but rather a train to Victoria. Foodepedia explores a new Neapolitan pizza site in centre of London.

Sometimes you just crave a good Italian ideally Neapolitan style pizza. It has been a good few years since I strolled the cobbled streets of Naples in search of a terrace and proper Neapolitan pizza.

Hence, I was thrilled to visit a fairly newly opened (since December) restaurant Happy Face Pizza by Victoria. Happy Face Pizza specialises in Neapolitan pizza and based in Victoria, and it’s their second restaurant in London, the first being in Kings Cross.

I will admit Victoria is not normally on my favourite places to visit list in the capital. Its massive train station and tube always packed with lost tourists searching for the Gatwick Airport sign, while unintentionally wheeling their gigantic suitcases over your feet.

However, this particular restaurant is located in quiet Eccleston Place in a traditional Belgravia red brick building away from the Victoria chaos. The décor inside is very relaxed taking inspiration from their Kings Cross branch.

Think pops of green and yellow art feel against exposed brickwork, high top tables and an open kitchen with a Neapolitan Scugnizzonapoletano pizza oven.

We visited Happy Face Pizza on a hot afternoon. The building was nice and cool inside with plenty of fresh air coming in from wide open windows overlooking garden trees across the street. It was a bit of a tranquillity paradise really.

To cool down more we started on Sgropino and Apple Spritz while looking through the food menu. The starter dishes consisted of creamy buratta (burratina), calamari and zucchini fritti, bruschettta, cured meats along other Italian antipastis.

While mains ranged from a classic Margherita and Funghi with tomato, mushrooms, mozzarella, taleggio and artichoke, to the Rucola with mozzarella, rocket, prosciutto crudo and parmesan plus the Vegan Pepperoni, along with gluten-free bases and extra toppings.

We went for burratina, calamari fritti, N’duja & Burrata and Funghi pizzas and waited patiently while sipping on our cocktails. I really quite enjoyed my Apple Spritz. It was very refreshing and bursting with natural apple flavour. I had a second round of it with my dessert later on.

My guest had Sgroppino in a short glass with lemon froth on top. It was a balanced drink, which went perfectly with our starters. The calamari was the best I have tasted in a long time.

Normally calamari is a tricky ingredient to cook. Overcook it and you end up with rubber, and many restaurants are guilty of that. Use the same frying oil too many times, and you get bitter taste in the batter and the undercooked calamari has a slimy texture.

The chefs of Happy Face Pizza nailed it, my calamari disappeared off the plate leaving none for my guest to try. Although he was focused on gobbling down his starter – the creamy burrata.

Then came the pizzas and we ordered more cocktails: Negroni Bianco with a lovely pineapple for me and Classical Negroni for my guest.

negroni bianco and apple spritz

I liked that the cocktails at Happy Face Pizza come with just the right amount of ice. There seems to be a lot of ice overloading going on in London bars. So that difference was appreciated.

The pizzas were everything the label said they’d be: fluffy yet light crust with generous toppings. The dough used in the pizzas is fermented for 72 hours ensuring fluffiness and less gluten content so you don’t feel fluffy and puffy yourself after. Slightly gluten intolerant consumers will get what I mean.

My pizza had a balanced variety of mushrooms, artichoke and tallegio, but if I may be a little fuzzy, and I tend to be with pizza toppings, it was missing that savoury kick.

It’s a common issue with vegetarian toppings as you kind of need the saltiness from cured pork meat or nduja. However, I don’t eat pork, so I accept the difficulty of achieving that flavour.

Especially since it can easily be fixed by a combination of quality black pepper and fresh virgin olive oil sprinkled on top, which was exactly what I did.

My guest’s pizza was a huge hit: hot and spicy n’duja levelled by the cooling burrata. We completed our meal with a lovely tiramisu to share and latte, followed by my favourite an Apple Spritz.

We had a good afternoon, the site is definitely worth being saved into your Google favourites. Also, Happy Face Pizza tells me their Kings Cross site is also home to the Supermax bar, a hidden gem serving vermouth-led cocktails until the early hours from Wednesday till Saturday.

23 Eccleston Pl, London SW1W 9NF