|Diners outside at Santore.|
Web site none
Main dish price range £6.20-£13.80
Rating 4 stars. A stunner of a restaurant with only occasional misses.
Recommended dishes Margherita pizza
One could be forgiven for wondering if Santoré, our new favorite pizza joint in East London, even meets this blog's definition of an ethnic restaurant: "a restaurant serving the food of a particular ethinc group, with an aim to primarily serving expatriates from that ethnic group." Located in trendy Exmouth Market, this bustling cafe, which strives to make authentic Neapolitan pizza, attracts a motley crowd-- a few tables of Italians, but also lots of big groups of red-faced, drunken British people just enjoying the big glasses of wine and pizza available by the meter. When Nick and I first walked in, we felt it was sort of part-way, if not all the way, in the ethnic category. The waiters greeted us with a volley of friendly"buongiornos" and the pizza oven lurking in the corner definitely looked as authentic as authentic could be, based on our past experiences in Naples.
|The typical scene at Santore.|
|My half of our margherita was gone pretty quickly.|
So, the margherita is always a big test for us. A secondary test that we expect most places with a good margherita to ace: The buffalo margherita, a version of the basic pie where regular mozzarella is replaced with much stronger, buffalo mozzarella instead, usually producing a more delicious result. Surprisingly though, this is not the case at Santoré. When we ordered this pizza-- which costs £7.65 and appears in the pizze special section of the menu-- they gave us a pie that was still perfectly executed from a crust standpoint. The cheese though was chilled in the middle, and felt like it had just been pulled out of cold water by the chef-- a bizarre choice that our waiter seemed to indicate was purposeful on the restaurant's part. If so, Santoré, as good as you are, let me tell you: You aren't doing yourself any favors with that approach.
|The mixed salad.|
For now, we're loving our post-gym trips to Santoré-- so much so we've already been back three times. We're going to keep looking for that pitch-perfect buffalo margherita though. We have a few more far-flung places to try that we crowd sourced with some Italians we know, so we'll be reporting back with more reviews soon.