4-6a Battersea Rise, SW11 1ED www.pi-pizza.co.uk
Pi Pizza on Battersea Rise is the first London branch of the popular Winchester pizzeria.
Owner of Pi PIzza,Rosie Whaley quit a career in fashion to open Pi Pizza following a stint working at a pizzeria in Florence.
Walking into Pi Pizza, the influence of Rosie’s background in fashion is evident. With its floral ceiling, vibrant yellow sofas, and the oh-so-instagrammable tree, whose verdant branches cascade over the hungry diners, it’s easy to understand why this restaurant’s interior has won awards.
To start, or to have alongside your pizza, there is a selection of nibbles and salads, with Italian cheeses and cured meats taking centre stage. There is also a choice of vibrant vegetable salads, all of which are suitable for vegans.
As you’d expect, the pizzas are the focal point of the menu.The 72 hour fermented dough is topped with high quality, carefully sourced ingredients. artisan producers; from Hampshire farms, Winchester cheesemakers and Isle of Wight tomato growers, through to charcuterie from Italy and Spain
Pi Pizza combines traditional techniques with inventive flavours, with toppings such as Lebanese spiced lamb with Turkish yoghurt; and wild boar salami with piquillo peppers and red chilli featuring on the menu.
You’re encouraged to go half and half on toppings, or split a larger, sharing size pizza in thirds – a dream come true for anyone as indecisive as I am.
Pizzas are served pre-sliced on a raised wooden board in the middle of the table, ready for everyone to get stuck into.
The caramelised red onion, goat’s cheese and kale pizza is an absolute must. Kale might not seems like the most appealing pizza topping, but it works well both texturally and in terms of flavour, providing a satisfying crunch and slight bitterness that complements the sweet onions and rich cheese.
The menu is veggie and vegan friendly, with three vegan specials on offer. We try the vegan truffle and wild mushroom special, which has a rich and flavourful porcini cream base and is generously topped with a mixture of wild mushrooms and finished with a good hit of truffle.
Sadly, this pizza is somewhat ruined by an abundance of overpowering vegan cheese. I’m a firm believer that if you want a vegan pizza, going cheeseless gives a far better, and more authentic, experience than loading on vegan cheese, and this experience definitely confirmed my belief.
When it comes to the dough, Pi Pizza are definitely doing things right. The base is crisp with a puffed up, chewy crust and slight tang.
The doughy crusts are calling out to be smothered in the house chilli and garlic oils – just beware of the extra hot! It has such a fiery heat that could blow the head of the bravest of chilli fiends, so think twice before drizzling it over your whole pizza.
To drink, there is an Italian wine list with a focus on organic, natural and vegan wines, as well as craft beers and Cornish cider.
If you still have space after your pizza, the dessert menu offers tempting gelato, traditional Italian desserts, and twists on British favourites including a sticky toffee pudding with a hint of star anise.
The starters and desserts are nothing in particular to write home about, but, vegan cheese aside, it’s hard to fault the pizza at Pi.
With inventive flavour combinations, good quality ingredients, and a practically perfect base, the team at Pi have a recipe for success.