Monday, 20 July 2015

NY Fold

For a few years now we’ve all been told that whatever we know about pizza is all wrong, and what we should all be eating is floppy, spongy crusts, with watery undercooked cheese tops and blackened carbon burnt bases, because that’s how they do it in Naples.
Well, Naples can go and stick its head in mount Vesuvius for all I care because I'm struggling to 'get' pizza like this. Give me something thin and crispy that I can pick up with my hands that doesn’t end up flopping all over the place in a steaming wet mess of cheese and tomato. 
Pizza by the slice has started to make a bit of a name for itself over the last couple of years, Homeslice and Voodoo Ray's both putting out their wares in this denomination. Voodoo Ray was probably the first to try and emulate the ‘New York’ style, and I loved it.
NY Fold is the latest, slightly more normcore opening direct from New York - yes food fans, real actual America - offering big slices from its new outlet in Charing Cross Road. So technically Soho, but facing TK Maxx and for a bit of grounding.
The current staff crew is all-American as far as I could tell, with even 'world pizza champion' Bruno di Fabio himself at the ovens, or at least I assumed it was, as he kept saying ‘my pizza is this, my pizza is done like that’ so much I hope I’m right.
Not sure about their insistence on calling pizzas 'pies' though. Pies, as we all know, are pastry, with a lid, filled with hearty fillings like steak & kidney, and served by jolly old ladies up north. Luckily though, unlike mac & cheese, fries etc, 'pie' for pizza seems to be staying put over there. 
Great to hear all the accents - I even honed my pronunciation of New York - (it’s not ’Niew Yawk’ but ’nooYARK’ ).
I hope the US voices stay longer, as they add a bit of romance to the atmosphere, but fear they’re all here just for the opening period. 
To be honest its quite fun to have an American thing here that really feels fresh, unpretentious and authentic, rather than the usual desperate hipster fawning pastiches we’re all so used to.

My starter of Caesar salad was good, I ordered it without chicken, because chicken has no place in a Caesar salad, the only thing belonging there are salty, umami-ish anchovies to go with that parmesan. Sadly no anchovies or croutons  appeared, so it was really like a lettuce & parmesan salad with Caesar sauce. It has to be said was good though.

The pizza slice, Quite big, as everyone knows Americans eat ten times what any other human eats at any given time, and nicely hot with still bubbling cheese. The much lauded base was crispy, light and tasty, which is exactly what Mr Di Fabio said it would be like.

There were three desserts I could see. Cheesecake, Tiramisu and Butterscotch Budino. All of which I was excited by, as they all ticked my ’not too clever, classic and a bit retro’ box. Butterscotch Budino is a fantastic thing to have in London - made famous by legendary Mario Batali L.A. & Singapore Osteria Mozza (and in the cookbook). I’ve never seen them here before, apart from on a stand from Italian restaurant Tartufo at Taste of London a couple of years ago.

Anyway I went for the Tiramisu as I’ve not the sweet tooth for butterscotch. It was great, deep in coffee and marsala wine flavour, not too heavy.

All in all I reckon NY Fold is a good addition to London's pizza repertoire. Expect families, tourists and day-trippers along with a good dose of Soho-ites dropping in.

I paid for my meal myself.


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