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The Soho House Group is taking over the premises on Highgate Road formerly occupied by the Kentish Town branch of the Grand Union chain, and the resulting venue will be a two-pronged behemoth:
Pizza East on the ground floor; the Chicken Shop down in the basement – with separate entrances for both. The new Pizza East will be the third branch of a mini chain that has already made its mark
in Shoreditch and Notting Hill – so expect bold, rustic-industrial design and wacky menu of pizzas topped with off-the-wall ingredients from around the globe, plus specialities from the wood-fired
oven. Also expect some lively antipasti, toothsome desserts and top Italian cheeses.
The Soho House group have nailed Kentish Town. Dirty Burger, Chicken Shop and Pizza East all take up a corner site on Highgate Road, and no matter what time or night of the week you go, they’re always busy. This Pizza East is much less hipster and up-itself than the Shoreditch branch. It’s for a crowd who hung up their Shoreditch clobber years back and have settled for the north west suburbs. The decor reflects the crowd, being less industrial and less ‘Shoreditch’, and instead it is much warmer. Inside it is all deep woods, wrought iron and warm lighting. This was a bit unexpected given that I’d only been to the...
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But perfection is just that, and I don't care if you're Chris Bianco or Mr Domino - you keep your pizzas simple, just as the Italians intended. What I don't expect is someone to put a porchetta on it, sliced up and laid across the pizza like some kind of upper-class kebab meat. But that's what I ate at the new PizzaEast restaurant in Kentish Town. Maybe it was on purpose - maybe it was meant to be a bastardisation of the Turkish pizza, but surely - surely - someone during the taste testing would have turned to the chef and said: "I mean, it's ok. But don't you think it's a bit much? Aren't there better things...
More from fatmanclaphand »
It's all happening round here. Restaurants, bars and shops are opening, pubs being done up and there's a big new French lycée (I hear as much French as English spoken at times, especially at my daughter's ballet school in Dartmouth Park). We have the dynamic Kentishtowner website keeping us updated on all things local. Tufnell Park is a Transition Town and has a weekly market and there's also a comprehensive farmers' market in Parliament Hill. However, something that's whipped people up into a frenzy is the arrival of the Soho House Group at Highgate Studios in NW5 with Pizza East, Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger...
More from Wine, food and other pleasures »
Being right next to the gym, I had passed by Pizza East perhaps once a month and I had always thought of it as an upscale Pizza Express. Looking in, the decor of it is your cliched warehouse look: walls laden with red bricks and purposefully cracked white tiles; exposed pipes and bare floors; rustic wooden tables and stools. Cute, but too much of it nowadays. Then late one evening I went in with friends and was pleasantly surprised -- nothing like Pizza Express. The menu proved to be exciting, and despite being a pizza restaurant, it had lots of tempting side dish options. Pizzas were in fact not ordered, and...
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