The Forza Win team seem right at home in their second rooftop pizza supperclub
“Don’t be alarmed,” we said to our friends as we turned off Hackney Road and into a grim industrial estate in search of Forza Win’s new rooftop venue. “It’s definitely around here somewhere.” We soon spotted a lonely and somewhat incongruous figure sporting a Forza Win t-shirt and clipboard who turned out to be the venture’s co-founder Bash. He directed us off the street, through an empty garage, up a fire escape, past some barbed wire and out onto the Forza Win roof terrace. Which is lovely.
Surrounded on all sides by some very urban yet oddly picturesque vistas, Forza Win’s new home is laid out across an expanse of decking at the top of an otherwise unremarkable building. The venue consists of a makeshift bar, two long tables and a matching pair of pizza ovens: Mario and Luigi. As with the previous setup, around 30 people can be seated across both tables and there is also an indoor option if things don’t quite go to plan weather-wise.
The terrace itself feels slightly unreal, almost like it belongs somewhere else, and this is a large part of its charm. The sense of dislocated sophistication intensified as the evening kicked off in true Italian style, with an aperitif in the form of an Aperol Spritz. This was followed by pasta served with beef ragu, a tasty dish combining a few very simple flavours to good effect. Tempted as we were to have a second helping, we had our eye on the main event.
The Pizza Pilgrims started serving up pizzas from their van on Berwick Street market about six months ago and their daily offerings range from the very familiar to the more experimental. At Forza Win they treated us to an overview of some of their favourites, serving up a seemingly endless stream of different pizzas, starting with the most traditional of all: the cheese-free Marinara. Along the way we enjoyed a new ‘white’ pizza with spring onions and chilli, as well as our old favourite featuring spicy ‘nduja sausage.
We were all pretty stuffed by the end but still managed to find room for a cup of Gelupo’s excellent ricotta ice cream served with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It sounds like an odd combination but it really works. This final dish was accompanied by French import Ben Le Jukebox who provided that evening’s entertainment, though the acts change regularly.
It seems cruel to mention at this point that Forza Win is sold out until it closes at the end of September. However we hear there is still a chance of the odd ticket here and there as well as signing up for cancellations. Any spare tickets will be dished out via twitter or facebook so keep your eyes peeled because this is one pop-up not to be missed.
1 Aperol Spritz
1 Beef ragu pasta
Selection of pizzas
1 Ricotta ice cream