Third-generation master pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo is the man behind celebrated Neapolitan pizzeria 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo, which has now made its way to London, debuting in a large site just off Trafalgar Square. Surrounded by chain restaurants and tourist gift shops, it feels like an odd location for a brand that is so revered.
The interiors are also a little jarring – the building’s gorgeous shell (double-height ceilings, marble columns) clashes with a Dennis the Menace-style mish-mash of red and black chairs, and cosy, cushion-covered booths.
But turn a blind eye to all of that, because the food here is knock-your-socks-off good. The menu kicks off with a concise selection of starting snacks, such as thick potato croquettes coated in crisp breadcrumbs, and a small, tightly-packed block of omelette packed with melted cheese and ham.
The pizzas, though, are the stars of the show, each with a soft and thin Neapolitan-style base, complete with crispy outer edges and charring marks. We opted for the carbonara: a creamy white base topped with smoky strips of bacon, drizzles of oil and a dusting of pepper. Elsewhere, the veggie 50 Kalò pizza saw clumps of gooey mozzarella (flown in from Campania) studded with silky roasted tomatoes and olives.
Friendly Italian staff and prices on a par with less impressive pizza chains are further pluses. There are side dishes available too, but we’ll doubt you’ll need to order any more after finishing off one of these hefty pizzas. Don’t forget to save some crusts to scoop up the pools of glorious leftover sauce – trust us, you’ll want to savour every bite.