Pizza Union in King’s Cross
Pizza Union opened their first restaurant in Spitalfields last year, speedily serving traditional Italian pizzas from morning to night. Their new branch is situated about a minute’s walk from King’s Cross Station, with bare brick walls, moody lighting and an open kitchen resplendent with a mosaic-tiled pizza oven. There are dark wood bench tables throughout, giving a stylish, no-frills impression.
The menu is simple: you’re here for pizza, but the range of Superfast 12” options is impressive. There are six vegetarian varieties and clear labeling for the four spicy ones, keeping diners well informed on choices. Although tempted by the Pollo, we opted for the ham and pineapple Tropicali and a spicy challenge in the Vesuvio. Orders are taken at the counter in exchange for a flashing tile, and no sooner had we started on a cup of mixed olives and poured a glass of Italian merlot, than the pizzas were ready to be collected from the kitchen counter – a speed that beat even the “superfast” expectation.
Served on metal dishes, the impossibly thin bases were perfectly crispy, if a tiny bit burned at the very edges. The red paste topping was as sweet as sun-dried tomatoes and the toppings were generously and evenly spread. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Vesuvio has the heat of a volcano in just one bite, with cracked chillies, green chillies and pepperoni grabbing the attention of the whole mouth, while mozzarella tempers the flames to an extent. As for the Tropicali, thickly sliced ham squares and juicy pineapple chunks create a sweet and satisfying dish.
When it comes to dessert, the options are limited but original. Unable to choose between the Cocco and the Caramello dolce, we split both. Created from a rolled pizza base filled with Nutella, the tangy mascarpone adds a savoury balance to the caramel, coconut and chocolate. These dishes were snowed on rather than dusted with cocoa and icing sugar, and ensured we did not regret the arguably gluttonous decision to order pudding.
With two courses for less than ten pounds, and super-friendly but unfussy service, this is casual dining at its best. Perfectly located for combating hunger at speed in one of the most transient areas of the capital, if every delayed train journey into King’s Cross had this promised at the end, commuters would be a noticeably happier bunch.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Pizza Union King’s Cross is at 246-250 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JY, for further information visit here.