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Our favourite pizza.

The Waterline is now  closed and is home of The Jolly Fisherman

We love pizza here. Even more than fish and chips. But less than curry. It’s amazing. While the search for the holy grail of pizza goes on (possibly unfulfilled unless in NYC or Italy itself), here is what we think is the best you can find in our city.

Pizza Express is our usual go-to – you get consistency, you get a good base, decent toppings, a multitude of offers, but it’s so “CHAIN RESTAURANT”, and a bit formal if you just want a nice pint, pizza and to watch the match. Have had many a pint in the Waterline over the years, but only in the past few years realised the allure of the dedicated pizza oven.

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Now this isn’t a review of The Waterline per se – just a comment on how much we love their pizzas – so much so – that we haven’t actually tried any of their other food! Though we hear good things. Did see the fish and chips come out once, and they looked good.

Since coming under new management earlier this year, the pub has smartened up, for better or for worse, and now you even get drinks served to your table. They have a good pick of guest ales on every week, and serve a selection of Fentiman’s – always welcome.

About eight pizza creations on offer, ranging from tried and tested cheese and tomato to strange concoctions like an asian-tinged duck and hoisin sauce (perhaps best to stay away from that one), or create your own. Prices at £8.95 are tempting enough – but two-for-one on a Monday is a must-try. Catch us there nearly every Monday!

Pizzas come out blazing hot, as they should, having been cooked briskly. Pretty consistent looking too, which is a good sign, and you can usually get a comfy settee and watch the chef spin the dough before it gets fired up (diavola in these pictures; £8.95, parma ham, chorizo, salami, jalapeños).

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The basic template is good – a super thin base which stays crispy throughout eating, (not too much) sweet tomato sauce, and mozzarella. They have a tendency to put on too much cheese, but hey, this is England, not Naples. The end result is something not a world away from NYC-style. Toppings are decent, the slow-cooked beef on sloppy joe pizza deserves a mention for being like the bolognese we know and love; with a twist. Sweet potato fries (pictured below) are something we don’t see enough of around the region – so they make a distracting little accompaniment, as do (huge portions of) old-school curly fries.

We see far too many disappointing pizzas which are sloppy, go soggy, have poor cheese, twice frozen bases, use raw tomato puree as a sauce, have duvet style bases, or are simply poor imitations of the art form of pizza – more often than not more like a crusty bread cheese and tomato open sandwich. Of course, the room dominating pizza oven helps here, but The Waterline does a good job of putting out a pizza which is not the best in the world, but quite possibly the best you can get in our region. Definitely try it out.

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(If anyone has any other pizza suggestions, please send them in, we’d love to try them out.)

Contact: www.thewaterlinebar.co.uk

Scores on the Doors: FIVE

Info correct as of 1/12/2011. Visited too many times to count.

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