I think, if I had to pick just one cuisine to eat for the rest of my days it would be Italian food. I think. I’m also very partial to spicy southeast Asian flavours. But if I had to pick just one, it would be Italian. Fifty per cent of that is due to pasta and the other fifty per cent is due to food of the gods, pizza. I bloody love pizza.
Strangely, as a child I didn’t have such an affection for pizza because I disliked melted cheese. Who was I!? This didn’t last that long, I went to university and discovered how melted cheese is a staple of university life. Cheesy chips were life.
Anyway, back to the pizza.
I’m lucky to share this love of pizza with others and that is where Pizza Club was born!
This time we were trying the food at the cute little local Italian Meridionale on New Kings Road. A few weeks ago Connie, Emma, Claire and I met to catch up and swap our final pizza notes as a group of 4. Sadly Connie is deserting us for far flung places!
This part of the New Kings Road is filled with little local restaurants and shops and as soon as I walked into Meridionale I knew I was going to like it here. There is such a cosy feel inside, with candles lit on each table and lovely simple decor. There are mirrors all along one wall making it feel open and airy whilst remaining intimate.
It’s not all pizza at Meridionale
Okay, I know this is Pizza Club and yes, lots of pizza was consumed. But the menu at Meridionale has a whole host of other delicious Italian dishes that we couldn’t not try.
As the prosecco was ordered (because when in Rome and all that) some beautifully juicy green Sicilian olives were brought to the table whilst we decided what to feast on.
It’s Pizza Club so we obviously had to try the deep fried folded mini pizza. That’s right, deep fried. The Panzerotto was simply filled with tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella. I thought this might be a little stodgy, but not at all. It was light and rather moreish indeed.
We also ordered the Parmigiana di Melanzane to start. Now if I had been choosing alone, this wouldn’t have made my order. But I’m so glad it did! This is why its great to dine in groups because you try things you may have never picked yourself. Piping hot baked layers of aubergines were stuffed with mozzarella, parmesan, basil and tomato. It was utterly divine. I would have happily devoured this gooey aubergine dish twice over.
When ordering we asked what the signature dish at Meridionale is. We were told it’s scialatielli. None of us had heard of it before so we had to try just one portion! It’s a linguine style pasta which they make themselves. We tried the one with pancetta, leeks, Sicilian cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. They were almost like chewy noodles and I loved them! I’ve never seen this kind of pasta on a menu so Meridionale are definitely bringing something new to London for me.
Now for the real reason we were here. Pizza!
Connie and I like love a bit of spice in our food so we buddied up on our main courses with the pasta and then ordered the Calabrese with a tomato base, mozzarella, spianata Calabrese, chilli and basil. It had a great kick to it.
Sometimes simple is best and the Bufala definitely showcased that. Simply made with a tomato base, buffalo mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes it was a hit amongst the table.
We could smell the Burrata Zucchine e Tartufo Nero before it even arrived at the table! A bianco pizza base topped with mozzarella, burrata, black truffle, buffalo ricotta and grilled courgettes. It smelt incredible! But if you were to eat this whole pizza to yourself there might be a touch too much truffle as it can be quite overpowering. Again, good to dine in a group because it means you can share!
We were very full by this point but we decided to try the desserts on offer. I always like to end a meal on a sweet note. The affogato was a good option for a slightly lighter end to the meal. However I did take a few scoops out of Connie’s tiramisu. And I can confirm it was beautifully light and one of the best I’ve had. There of course was Scicilian lemon tart on the menu and I was assured it hit the spot.
A neighbourhood Italian restaurant
Meridionale is a lovely neighbourhood Italian restaurant that serves authentic southern Italian food. It’s a cosy and rustic spot with a rather relaxing atmosphere. The staff we friendly and the food interesting and delicious. I think Meridionale is the perfect spot for the winter nights ahead.
311 New King’s Rd
*I was a guest of Meridionale, but as always views remain my own.
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