Mon—Thu and Sun 11am—10pm; Fri—Sat 11am—midnight
Bite Me Pizza follows in the footsteps of the likes of Franco Manca, Firezza and Gourmet Pizza in offering ‘posh’ pizza. It ticks all the boxes of such places; the ingredients are as locally sourced as possible, the dough has a novelty factor (it contains Khorasan wheat, use of which traces back to the ancient Egyptians), they are eco-friendly and they have a good selection of ales and wine.
The place is small but inviting, halfway between an evening meal spot and somewhere to grab a quick bite to eat. It does, however, make good use of its limited space with an open-plan kitchen, ample seating and tables adorned with basil plants and hand sanitiser pumps, a welcome touch when your main piece of cutlery is your hand.
It was fairly empty on arrival. However, the weather was terrible plus England were playing football (albeit against San Marino). A few dine-in customers seemed like they were regulars, and the odd takeaway came in along with one very irate man who walked in topless, demanding napkins—you’ve got to love W11.
The premise here is that the topping selection, behind a Subway-style display unit, offers you the chance to create your own pizza, or you can choose from the classics menu. Classics range from £6 to £14.50 and the make-your-own is £4 for the base and £2 per topping. The ingredients on offer are as enticing as they are diverse and allegedly allow for ‘a trillion’ different ingredient combinations, though sadly I didn’t have the time (or appetite) to calculate the truth of this claim.
Owner and founder Chris Manessis came over and recommended we try a couple of his favourite pizzas, which he believed showcased the best that Bite Me had to offer. The first was a Napoletana that came with rapini (Mediterranean-style broccoli) and Neapolitan sausage on a white mozzarella base. It was a very traditional pizza, complete with gooey mozzarella and hunks of proper sausage meat, although sadly the rapini was slightly lost amongst all that umami. It was a flavoursome and well-seasoned offering but nothing special.
The second recommendation, however, was slightly different and actually a customer creation that the Bite Me team have adopted: a white base of mozzarella topped with pancetta, goats’ cheese and ham and then drizzled with honey. It was sensational. Crisp, salty pancetta, squidgy lumps of goats’ cheese and stringy mozzarella all intertwined with sweet honey on a puffy hot dough base. It was not dissimilar to pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, but with a lot of cheese, which is no bad thing at all. Arguably one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted, and certainly my companion’s new favourite topping combo.
The dough was light, fluffy and crispy in all the right places; the ancient Egyptians evidently knew a thing or two about baking.
Dessert Pizza (£4.25) was essentially two thin semi-crisp pizzas filled with Nutella and covered in icing sugar. We were also offered salted caramel ice cream but this would genuinely have led to a lie-down somewhere along Westbourne Grove, so we skipped that.
As with the toppings, the alcohol here is carefully selected and features a good ale selection from Fuller’s, amongst others, and wine from family-owned Italian vineyards. We went for bottles of Brooklyn lager (£3.75).
Bite Me is bringing a more playful, creative element to proceedings with their topping combinations, unique dough and obsession with ingredient provenance, all of which makes for very good pizza.