Pizza Workshop, Whiteladies Road: Review

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Pizza Workshop Clifton - Exterior

 

Please note: This review is based on our experience of Pizza Workshop’s soft launch evening, and we have been assured that some of the niggles have been ironed out since.

 

The second branch of Pizza Workshop opened on Whiteladies Road in early August 2017, bringing Southville’s much-loved sourdough pizzas to BS8. It’s a bold move, opening just up the road from the established Bosco – and with such a huge choice of fantastic pizza places now on offer in Bristol, it’ll be interesting to see how it fares against its competition.

There’s a huge focus on quality here: the sourdough pizzas are made without yeast and risen for over 30 hours, the San Marzano tomato sauce is homemade, and toppings are authentic and Italian.

Step through the front door, and you’ll see that the decor is pretty minimalist: plain wooden tables and stools for most, with one long bench along the right-hand wall, and more tables at the very back of the restaurant. Walls are simply painted in white, although on one feature wall, you’ll find huge black and white paintings of wheat and a buffalo – simplicity is the favoured style here.

Tables to the right are lit by hanging lamps, and on the left, long, wood panelled strip lights hang low above the tables. The kitchen, coffee machine and drinks service area are in the narrow corridor leading to the back of the restaurant, giving a little of the hustle and bustle you’d expect from a pizza restaurant.

It’s a stylish, well-designed place, but one thing we weren’t so keen on was just how close the tables are to each other – I appreciate that they want to feed as many diners as possible, but I always feel a little uncomfortable sitting under a foot away from the couple at the next table…is that just me…?

The menu’s simplicity matches that of the decor: ten different pizzas (with numbers rather than names) to eat in or takeaway, a small number of starters and two sharing boards, and eight different hot bocca sandwiches served for lunch. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available (again, the menu’s short and sweet), along with a choice of four desserts.

We started our evening with a portion of Pizza Workshop’s garlic bread (£4) to share, served on a rustic wooden tray and generous in its quantity. In all honesty, it was a little hit and miss: the flavour of the garlic was spot on – only just cooked, so it retained some pungency – and the team clearly use a decent olive oil. Sadly, though, some pieces were too charred, some too doughy – and the whole thing was far too salty.

 

Pizza Workshop Clifton - Garlic Bread

 

It was Pizza 2 (£9.50) that took my fancy for my main – topped with a combination of Fior di Latte, garlic, anchovies, Lilliput capers and Italian oregano. Now, I know pizza bases are massively subjective, so others may disagree…but while I enjoyed the chewy doughiness of the outer crusts, the base (although packed with flavour) was too thin and a little too crispy. The toppings simply slid off, so I took the knife and fork route to eat it…

The toppings themselves were beautiful: thick and creamy Fior di Latte cheese, just enough anchovies to pack a salty punch without overpowering everything else, and the flavour of the oregano present throughout…the capers, though, were too tiny and sparse to taste amongst everything else, and there were only two pieces of roasted garlic on the whole pizza, which was a shame.

 

Pizza Workshop Clifton - Pizza 2

 

Chris fared better with Pizza 8 (£13), resplendent with Fior di Latte, prosciutto, salsiccia, chorizo, nduja and oregano. His toppings were certainly more generous and he loved the variety in flavours and textures of the various meats. He was a big fan of the prosciutto cotto on top, which had been added after cooking, and which lent a cooling contrast to the fieriness of the nduja.

Pizza Workshop Clifton - Pizza 8

 

There’s clearly a lot of love put into the pizzas at Pizza Workshop on Whiteladies Road, with quality toppings, care taken over the sourdough bases, and a decent range of options on offer. Neither the pizza bases nor the proximity to other diners were for me, though – and while it’s a restaurant that may be loved by some, Pizza Workshop’s unfortunately not on my list of Bristol’s best pizzerias.

 

Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

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