I don't often get over to west London, but after my first trip to Otto pizza this week, I'm already planning a repeat visit.
It's a pizza place over in Notting Hill, and as someone who doesn't like pizza or Notting Hill, it wasn't the obvious place for me to go for lunch.
Otto isn't a vegan place, or even veggie, but it does cater well for all those of a plant-friendly persuasion. It has about four or five veggie pizzas, and two or three vegan ones, and there are sometimes extras on the specials board.
Our server explained the pizzas to us something like this: "you know Italian pizzas with the thing crust? Otto's aren't like that. They're made of cornmeal and they're thick more like the American style. We recommend two or three slices per person. I've never been able to have more than three."
Yep - thanks to that big, thick cornmeal crust, you order Otto's pizza by the slice rather than by the whole pizza. I started out with two, and my other half (a big strapping chap) went for three.
When we went there were three vegan choices: spinach and artichoke, red lentil kofte, and red onion and sweetcorn. I went for a slice each of the first two.
And they were great! The spinach and artichoke came heaped with both of its namesakes, along with cashew cheese, and lots of parsley and garlic. As a rule, I'd suggest coming here with your long-term boyfriend or girlfriend as the garlic levels were so high, you'd not want to be kissing anyone else. I was quite happy though, being something of a garlic fiend, and it was in perfect balance with the greenery.
All on top were cashew ricotta, red lentil kofte, red onion, red curry sauce, and coriander.
I couldn't pick up any of the red lentilness in there - if you've have asked me, I would have said they were falafels - but they were incredibly tasty nonetheless. The curry sauce wasn't Indian as I expected but more Thai - not a traditional pizza topping, but it really worked, and all the spices made it a much more interesting plate.
I very nearly didn't finish the second slice - to say the cornmeal base was filling is something of an understatement. I really struggled, as did Mr Flicking the Vs. ("A fourth slice would have been insanity," he said) but we both soldiered on as we were enjoying the pizza so much.
I couldn't tell you if Otto does dessert, or sides, or anything like that. I guess no one can ever eat anything else after the pizza without growing another stomach. But with pizza this good, you don't need to.
6 Chepstow Road
0207 792 4088