Standing on the streets of central London at 9pm on a Monday night, my friend and I were (as usual!) very hungry. To my surprise most of the eateries were closing up for the night. I wanted pizza and my friend wanted risotto. Looking around, we found ASK Italian. Standing under the restaurant’s canopy to shelter us from the drizzly evening, I read the menu options but I wasn’t satisfied. Today, I wasn’t going to settle. I wanted a proper pizza, not something from a chain.
Back to square 1, my friend pulled out her iPhone to simply Google “Pizza”. Olivelli showed up and wasn’t closing until 11pm – perfect, a proper Italian pizza place open till late! So on went Google maps and 10 minutes later we were standing outside.
Stepping through the entrance, I felt as though I was instantly transported to Italy. Candles flickered on the many empty tables and diners chatted heartily over drinks. Greeted by a sternly faced waiter, we were escorted to our table. Taking our seats and looking around, the interior of the restaurant reminded me of Rocky’s restaurant in the movie Rocky Balboa. Photos of happy customers and the rich history of Olivelli pinned up on the wall gave a feeling of authenticity.
Casting my eyes over the menu, I settled on the Vegetariana pizza – roasted red and yellow peppers, green olives, aubergines, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, caramelised onions, mozarella and tomato. Menus taken away, time passed to soak up the atmosphere whilst our authentic meals were lovingly prepared.
Soon enough, over walked the waiter and placed in front of me an incredibly large delicious looking pizza. The aroma was tantalising. Taking the knife, I did the part which I always find hardest – cutting into the pizza on a tight plate, without making a fool of myself! Taking the first bite, I tasted the crispiness of the just-baked dough with the freshness of the vegetables on top. Slowly but surely, I devoured the whole pizza…and didn’t feel stuffed afterwards but just right.
Of course after the main meal comes dessert! I went for yummy profiteroles filled with pana montata (Sicilian cream) and drizzled with warm chocolate sauce. Whilst my friend went for an ice cream cake – layers of sponge, hazelnut and chocolate ice cream with chocolate croquant, topped with chocolate sauce and chopped hazelnuts. Tucking in to both, the flavours of the chocolate and cream were scrumptious and a good end to the meal at Olivelli.
I am looking forward to making a return visit to this Italian haven!
Rating: 1 Poor / 2 Average / 3 Good / 4 Very Good / 5 Excellent
All the details you need
- Address: Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Waterloo, Dulwich
- Website: http://ristoranteolivelli.co.uk
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 11.30am – 11pm, Sun Midday – 10pm
- Is it Halal? No