Saturday, 28 July 2018

REVIEW: Santi Pizzeria, Watford

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone
Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

I haven't talked much yet about our minimoon in Italy, but guys - it was so perfect. An incredible, epic week. We ate fantastic food, we saw absolutely tons and we somehow managed to find the time to relax, too. It was fabulous. We started off with a couple of nights in Rome, then spent the rest of the week in Naples. I have so much to say about it, and I will. But for now, let's talk about the pizza.

Proper Italian pizza is something special. The ingredients used are so fresh, so high-quality that even a simple margherita will blow your mind. And while no pizza I've had in the UK has quite compared to the pizzas I've had in Italy - I blame those epic tomatoes - a few have come close. Because lots of places are springing up to emulate proper, Neopolitan pizzas. Most of the ones I know of are in London, so I was pleasantly surprised to find one round the corner from work, in Watford.

Santi Pizzeria has two restaurants - one in Stratford and one in Watford. The Watford branch has only been open a few months, but is already super popular - the TripAdvisor reviews are absolutely glowing. And good news for locals - they deliver, too!

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

I met Matt after work and we headed along to stuff our faces with pizza. We started with predictable starters - I got bruschetta, because I cannot resist tomatoes and garlic EVER. It was good, although a bit heavy on the oregano and a bit light on the garlic for my taste, and I thought the tomatoes were a little underripe.

And Matt got - have you guessed yet - calamari. That boy cannot resist calamari on a menu. It wasn't your standard calamari though - amongst the usual squid rings was a whole baby octopus, which he was very pleased with. He said it was well cooked and crispy, although said it was unusual to service it with tartar sauce, as usually it's aioli. The tartar slightly overpowered the calamari flavour, but it was still tasty.

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

If the starters didn't excite us, the main courses did. Both the pizzas we ordered were exceptional, and I'm going to have to go back soon and work my way through the rest of the menu.

Every time I order a really good pizza, I think I should just order a margherita because when it's done well, it's done REALLY well. And every time I can't resist other exciting ingredients, and this time was no different. I tried to keep it simple though - the Santi pizza had porcini mushrooms, truffle oil and mozzarella with rocket, and those are all things that I like. But what I got was definitely a surprise (in a good way):

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

That is a giant ball of mozzarella, nestling on a bed of cheesy dough. I hadn't actually realised it was a white pizza until it came. The mushrooms were slightly pickled I think, so the flavour really came through, and the truffle oil gave it a fantastic depth of flavour without being too strong. It was so good. I loved the rocket, which gave it a pleasant freshness, and that mozzarella - daaamn. So creamy and smooth, and so MUCH. My favourite kind of cheese is lots.

Matt got the calzone, which was a fine looking pizza. It's unusual to see a calzone with a pizza top, but it really worked. It was super cheesy, super flavoursome and super delicious. Definitely rich - he struggled to get through it - but very enjoyable.

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

For dessert, Matt got tiramisu and I got panna cotta. The tiramisu was solid, with good layers, and not overly creamy. I don't like coffee, so I wouldn't know, but Matt said it's often overly creamy which drowns out the chocolate and coffee flavour - this had really good definition.

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

The panna cotta wasn't like any I've had before. It was chocolate orange flavour which I've never seen before, and topped with crunchy crumble. It was delicious (and HUGE) and an interesting variation on what's usually a fruity dessert.

Santi Pizzeria review - an authentic Italian Pizzeria in Watford, Hertfordshire with pizza, pasta, mains and calzone

We had a lovely meal at Santi Pizzeria, and I'd definitely head back there for a meal - I may suggest it to my work friends for our next work lunch, as the menu is extensive and really reasonable (the cheapest pizza is less than £7). I feel like Watford is a little short on really good independent restaurants, so it's great to find this gem. Any other recommendations, Watford pals?

Santi Pizzeria is at 63 The Parade, High Street, Watford WD17 1LJ. The restaurant kindly paid for our meal in exchange for this honest review.
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2 comments

  1. Your pizza sounds amazing - being allergic to tomatoes means I'm always looking for interesting white pizzas, and the amount of cheese on that certainly interests me!

    LIFE & LOVES: A Foodie Blog

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  2. Oh my god a whole ball of mozzarella on a pizza?! #winning

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