Is Santa Maria REALLY the best pizzeria in London? I first heard about it in Time Out when it was voted the best. I have been three times now and can safely say that whilst it is up there, I prefer a couple of other London pizza establishments.
Each time I have been, the service has bothered me a little. I have never experienced service with a smile, which is very important to me. I don’t like to be made to feel that the waiting staff don’t want you there, or see that they don’t even want to be there themselves.
This time I ordered a Santa Bufalina pizza (Tomato sauce, Buffalo D.O.C. mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, and fresh basil – £8.75). I usually order the San Daniele (Italian mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parma ham, wild rocket, shaving of Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil – £10.95) but decided that I wanted a change this time, partly because I’m not overly fond of the grated Parmesan that they add to the top of it. My boyfriend stuck to the usual and opted for this one.
So far, this post has been a little negative hasn’t it. But, I have to say that there are plus points about Santa Maria. It is based in the leafy Ealing suburb in a cute little unit with an outdoor seating area. There is a large wood fired pizza oven in the back of the open kitchen, which cooks the pizzas extremely quickly so you know that you can pop in for a quick tasty meal. The base is delicious, thick, doughy and has those lovely little bits of charcoal on the bottom from the wood fire oven. The pizzas are also HUGE, which is great if you’re a hungry lass like me.
I can’t believe I am saying this because I am the biggest cheese lover in the world. From asking for extra cheese at pizza hut as a youngster to putting a whole ball on my home made pizzas, I love my cheese. But there was just too much of it on my Santa Maria pizza. The big blobs were also about 2 cm thick and we walked out of the restaurant feeling a bit queasy. Next time I think I’ll have to ask for less cheese – never before has this happened.
Santa Maria Pizzeria
15 St.Mary’s Road