Franco Manca
'Authentic cooking and amazing value for money' at Franco Manca, Chiswick

Franco Manca

Open Mon–Sun midday–11pm

Following on from the huge success of their initial Brixton market branch, Franco Manca launched their first sister restaurant in leafy Chiswick earlier this year. The restaurant has a relaxed, rustic feel with beautiful traditional tiles, chunky wooden tables and strings of garlic hanging over the open pizza kitchen, giving it a relaxed, homely feel. It has already gained a loyal, local following which is not surprising when you consider their top-notch, organic ingredients and miniscule prices.

Having chosen to dine at one of their alfresco tables fringing the bustling Chiswick High Road, my friend and I pondered the drinks menu. Despite a good list of organic wines available by the bottle they disappointingly only have one variety available by the glass; a nondescript, pungent Italian house white (£2.75), which was served tepid. However there were some delicious soft options available such as their sweet, homemade, organic lemonade (£1.90).

The pizza menu is simple with only six varieties; on our waiter’s recommendation I opted for ‘number 4’ (£6.40), a tangy fusion of tomato, garlic, oregano, capers, olives, anchovy and mozzarella. The sourdough base was deliciously thin and the crusts were springy and moist. The passata was bursting with flavour and despite being overly salty, I found the capers and olives complimented the sweetness of the base.
 My friend, Annika ordered the unusually cheesy ‘number 2’ (£5.95) featuring mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms. Although intriguing, I found the heavy toppings weighed down the base and the absence of passata resulted in a slightly bland, dry pizza which we managed to liven up with a drizzle of chilli-infused olive oil.

For desert we shared the raspberry yoghurt polenta torte (£2.90) which was deliciously moist and flavoursome, but the excessive use of honey in the presentation made it far too sweet.

This is not the place for a romantic dinner date, but it is an ideal option for a family feast or a catch up with friends. What Franco Manca lacks in sophisticated wines and complex menus it makes up for in great quality ingredients, simple, authentic cooking and amazing value for money.

Dinner for two, around £40, including wine.

Franco Manca, 144 Chiswick High Road, W4, London;; 020 8747 4822

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