Serving up a small slice of Rome in London’s west-end, Malletti’s was dreamed up by a chef from Naples back in the mid 90’s called Antonio Malletti. Not particularly keen on his native Neapolitan style of wood-fired pizza, he believed the Roman interpretation was more appealing to customers because it was so easy to eat and he liked the idea of having the wide selection of different flavours to choose from, and I have to say that I agree.
Earning itself a cult status in the area, Malletti’s has been supplying hungry locals with Roman-style fast food for over 15 years, and despite the ever-present queue, no one seems to mind waiting for Soho’s best slice of pizza. One of the few places in London selling pizza al taglio (by the slice), the pizzas are cooked in long rectangular trays and then cut into slices with scissors, in true Roman style, before being reheated and served.
The dough is made fresh every morning, and the base is thin with a light crunch, but still soft enough it can be folded in half. The tomato sauce is rich, the mozzarella stringy and creamy, the herbs plentiful and each mouthful oozes olive oil.
The choice of different toppings seems endless. On this particular visit I tried the Parmigiana (aubergine, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan) and Giardiniera (artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomato and mixed herbs). Both were tantalisingly moorish, packed full of flavour and with as much character as the owner himself.
Regarded by both critics and customers as one of the best interpretations of an authentic pizza in the capital, interestingly, owner Antonio is not big into publicity, he doesn’t even have a website. Of the belief that the product should be left to do the talking, he thinks they’re busy enough as it is doesn’t honestly know if they could handle much more business.
A generously sized slice costs £3.95 and the price is the same for all 26 different flavours on the menu. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in central London, I recommend getting there early, they only make a limited amount of each different flavour and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Address: 26 Noel St, Soho, London
Open: Mon-Sat 12pm-4pm