Saporitalia, Notting Hill

Saporitalia is set to be a hit with its large, unpretentious and authentic pizzas

Booking a table at the last minute in London is challenging at the best of times. Trying to secure a spot for nine people on a Friday evening at a new and already well-reviewed restaurant on fashionable Portobello Road would seem to be a fool’s errand. You can imagine our surprise, then, that this turned out not to be the case at Saporitalia, whose easy-going staff informed us that seating our group that evening would be no problem at all.

Although we eventually arrived almost an hour late we were warmly welcomed and waved through to our table at the back. Almost as soon as we sat down, small plates of complimentary bruschetta were served, a detail that immediately impressed everyone.

The menu at Saporitalia is pretty traditional with familiar ingredients and combinations on offer, though some members of our group found the choices a little uninspiring, with pizzas seeming to lack the extra one or two ingredients that would really make them sing.

When the pizzas arrived however, it was clear that there was very little to worry about. Larger than most high-end Neapolitan numbers out there, they bore the unashamedly irregular shape and scorched exterior typical of great artisan pizza.

The Napoli was simple but effective, pairing anchovies and olives for a deliciously salty combination, while the Capricciosa, a popular choice at our table, was a faithful rendition of a much-loved classic. The vegetarian Dell’orto did not suffer from its lack of meat, crammed as it was with a juicy selection of cherry tomatoes, olives, aubergines, sweet peppers and basil.

The Piccante

Fans of milder flavours need not be deterred by the Piccante which, though featuring spicy Calabrian salami and mushrooms, was not as hot as its name suggested. This too was a tasty pizza, though did look significantly more interesting after one member of our group customised theirs with the addition of sweet red peppers and rocket.

There was some debate about the crust, with one half of the table declaring it to be perfect while the other said it might be a tiny bit too crispy for their liking, but this is the kind of hyper-criticism that tends to emerge when dining with pizza bloggers. Certainly the crust was not undercooked, which is a detail that can often let down an otherwise top-flight pizza, and we definitely recommend making up your own mind on this one by trying it yourself.

Saporitalia offers top quality pizza, cooked in strict adherence to traditional methods, served in friendly and unpretentious surroundings. In doing so it brings together the best aspects of Italian cooking at a very reasonable price. However, do ring ahead as we expect this restaurant’s inevitable popularity will make nabbing a table much harder in future!

The Bill:

1 Dell’orto
1 Pomodorini, Rucola e Crudo
1 Napoli
3 Capricciosa
3 Piccante
2 Side salad
3 Bottle house red
2 Bottle house white
3 Espresso

£174.10

Saporitalia
222 Portobello Road
W11 1LJ

www.facebook.com/saporitalialondon

Saporitalia on Urbanspoon

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