Franco Manca, Oxford: August, 2017
With more and more pizza-places opening, does Oxford really need another one? Hell, yes!
The latest pizza joint to hit Oxford is Franco Manca on George street, a London-based pizzeria company. Originally starting out in 2008 on the Brixton food scene in London, Franco Manco has been serving perfect-pizzas ever since.
Franco Manca serves Neapolitan sourdough pizzas. What are they when they are at home, I hear you ask? Well with these type of pizzas the base is very thin, and the crust puffs up around the edges, creating a very airy crisp-crust. It is cooked at a very high temperature for a short amount of time, which gives the crust those charred spots that are unique and make Neapolitan pizzas so tasty. The centre is very thin meaning you are unable to pick it up – so knife and fork at the ready!
Franco Manca use fresh, seasonal ingredients, all of which appear on the menu with an origin – which I think is great, and should be on all menus! Sourdough is used, so slightly healthier – not that you would go to a pizzeria if you were on a diet, but it adds to the flavour too.
Recently opened, the pizzeria looks great. Simplistic and rustic, with basic tables in view of the ‘kitchen’, or shall I say wood-burning Tufae brick-oven as they are all cooked in the traditional way. It was a real treat to be able to watch your dinner being prepared and then see it crisp-up in the open oven!
It is very informal with such friendly staff offering tips on pizza choices and drinks. They use No Logo craft beer and cider, from Kent. I had the larger and ordered the garlic bread with mozzarella to start.
The garlic bread was perfect! Pull-apart cheese and just enough garlic. There was so much, one portion could certainly be shared – with leftovers. So careful, as you want to leave room for the main event!
I ordered the Gloucester old spot ham, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, and wild mushrooms pizza. There is a choice of one to seven with specials on the board and the ability to add extra ingredients from a list if you wished. I had extra tomatoes, as recommended by the waitress. Then it arrived…
Oh my, what a site, it looks incredible with juices still bubbling, fresh ham spread around, and the ricotta melting into the mushrooms – a pizza-paradise. It smelled fresh and creamy, I was ready for more before I started. The taste did not disappoint either; the charred crispy-crust provided a crunchy base to bind the creaminess of the centre to. As thought, you need a knife and fork for the centre, but couldn’t put enough on – it was so delicious.
If you were wanting a light option sharing a pizza is possible but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want fights over the best bits! I was very satisfied on finishing and slowly slipping into a carb-coma, but I still ordered dessert – of course. And what do you get from an Italian-based pizzeria? Tiramisu!
It was light, creamy and equal parts cream to sponge – well, no one wants to be hard done by, do they? The coffee pierced through and it was just what was needed; it was a light dessert, perfect to chase a heavy meal.
With multiple pizzeria and pizza-serving restaurants popping up all over the country Franco Manca is certainly the number one place for pizzas in Oxford right now! Enjoy with friends and as you need a knife and fork, great for dating- no risk of messy-finger eating. It was busy on a weekday and so I would advise booking if you want to go, it will only get busier, I’m sure!