Italian Pizza Connection: Giant Slice of Italy in London, England
94 Bishop’s Bridge Road, Bayswater
Recommended to us by a friend, Italian Pizza Connection is an authentic Italian pizzeria with ultra friendly staff and gigantic, thin crust pizzas. Since it was very near our hotel in Bayswater, we decided to check it out. It had been a particularly long morning since we had just checked into our hotel (yes, we got lost on the way there), we had nearly nothing for breakfast, I almost missed my morning coffee (I am pretty much a monster without my coffee in the morning), and we were famished by lunch time. A giant pizza sounded perfect.
As soon as we walked in, we got a big waft of baking pizza, rich tomato sauce, smells of freshly baked pizza crust and smokey smells of herbs and spices. We knew we were in the right place!
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I am not a fan of green, leafy vegetables. My travel mate is the exact opposite, not only does she love green, leafy vegetables, one of her favourite types is spinach. Spinach has got to top my list of most despised vegetables (except when it’s smothered in cheese in a creamy spinach dip). I hate the way it makes my tongue rough, I don’t like how it gets all limp and oily when cooked, and the taste, I can really do without. So needless to say, we had to get a split topping pizza. And believe me, half a pizza each at Italian Pizza Connection was plenty.
We decided on the two toppings named Tom and Jerry which was mozzarella, frankfurter sausage and french fries, and the Fiorentina which was mozzarella, tomato, spinach, two eggs and Parmesan. Guess which topping I chose.
Now the fun thing about Italian Pizza Connection is that they let you toss your own pizza dough. As much as I don’t like getting my hands dirty, I have to admit that this was pretty fun. And really, the chef behind the counter does all the heavy duty kneading, he just tosses it over the counter to you for a ceremonial catch. I was pretty petrified that I might be hit in the face by it though; thank goodness the chef had a good aim and threw the huge, flat flying saucer of dough right at my hands!
When our pizza finally arrived, both our jaws dropped at the sheer size of the thing. We already knew this place is famous for large pizzas, and it’s even advertised on the menus that the pizzas are 16 inches. It was still shocking to lay eyes on the beast of a pizza though. Good thing we were hungry!
The Tom and Jerry topping was delicious. The frankfurter sausage was salty and scrumptious. The fries look like cubes of pineapple in the picture but they were perfectly cooked home fries, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The best part was the gooey, stretchy mozzarella cheese, not only binding the toppings to the pizza, but also giving the thin crust pizza more heft and weight.
It’s pretty incredible that for such a huge pizza, the thin crust is not soggy at all, it was amazingly crispy throughout even in the middle parts of the pizza where the toppings were the heaviest.
The eggs in the Fiorentina topping looked wonderful when the pizza arrived; they were bubbling hot, and the way the thin egg white membrane jiggled, I could tell there was a soft, slightly squishy, slightly runny yolk underneath. And I was right! I love runny yolks, and I love pizza; this was a combo made in heaven. It almost makes up for the fact that this runny yolk was running all over a spinach topped pizza.
In general, the Fiorentina topping was quite delicious, it was a light and balanced match to the meat and potatoes topping of the Tom and Jerry. And even though the spinach was limp in the topping, it managed to soak up enough tomato sauce to hide most of its spinach-taste.
We did end up eating this entire pizza in one sitting and in less than two hours. We attempted to document our progress too. See below pictures.
I am definitely visiting this place again on my next trip to London!