Review: Japes London-style pizza

Review: Japes London-style pizza

A deep dish extravaganza in the heart of Soho…

By Tara Robinson

We’ve all heard of Chicago-style pizza. The deep baked, outrageously cheesy pies have long been a favourite of taste tourism in London, where you can try every kind of food under the sun.

Soho and Greenwich- based pizza house Japes – long considered the best place to go in London for Chicago-style – are now trying their own signature take on the deep dish: the aptly-coined London-style pizza. Featuring the high edge base and copious cheese that so famously characterises the Chicago-style, this new range of pizzas provides a unique twist on the classic crust. I visited Japes’ Soho site to try it out…

Arriving into a well-lit, warm and friendly atmosphere, we started off the evening properly with cocktails. Our orders of Long Island Iced Teas arrived in quirky glasses styled in the shape of faces, topped off with a caramelised slice of lime. While Japes are known near-exclusively for their pizza, it has to be said that their cocktails are worth singing about too. Dark, syrupy and delicious.

For starters, we made an order of garlic and mozzarella bread and – to make ourselves feel slightly better about what we were about to consume – a bowl of green olives. We were delighted to discover that the garlic and mozzarella bread arrived in deep dish form: round, tall and gooey. The buttery crust was divine, and the cheesy garlic goodness hit the spot perfectly. Though we quickly began to foresee a potential block in the road: deep dish, as one might suspect, is rather filling. We were only on our starter, and already beginning to wish for second stomachs.

Next came the star of the show: the London-style pizza. It was explained to us that the London-style retains many similarities to the best bits of the deep dish, but with a new dough recipe, 11-ingredient tomato sauce, and the main attraction: caramelised cheese. This gives the London-style an ever-so-slightly sweet kick, to offset the salt and savoury.

Now that we knew what we were ordering, I opted for the Buffala: tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, sun dried tomato, mozzarella and fresh rocket. My companion chose the Wicked Chicken: chicken tenders, mozzarella, buttermilk ranch, peeled carrot, mushrooms and spring onion. Neither of us were disappointed. The crust, less thick than the traditional crust of a Chicago style, and slightly wider and flatter, was pillowy, warm and wondrous. The sun dried tomatoes were fresh and flavoursome, and the caramelised cheese worked excellently against the other flavours. I readily declared the London-style pizza a success.

The one thing that must be noted about Japes’ pizzas, however, is that they are well-near impossible to finish. Granted, this may simply be an aspect of the deep dish pizza in general – and possibly exacerbated by the fact our eyes were slightly bigger than our stomachs. Nonetheless, the very accommodating staff allowed us to take our leftovers home to finish the next day. Two meals for the price of one – I’d call that a plus.