Down a quiet lane in the West End of Edinburgh a pizza revolution is taking place. After months of research and development, the founders of @pizza have produced a pioneering counter-serve pizza restaurant with quality ingredients at its core.
@pizza is the coming together of a set of bold ideas to challenge the fast-casual market by introducing an exciting new counter-serve casual dining experience to the Edinburgh food scene.
Founders Bhasker Dhir and Rupert Lyle spent months crafting recipes for @pizza’s two dough bases. Both slow-proved for 48 hours on the premises, one is a sourdough and the other, made with 100% spelt flour referred to as ancient grain, has a lower gluten content and higher nutritional value.
Rupert commented: “The concept has been designed to be simple, replicable and future proof, so we have designed all of the systems and processes behind the business to enable consistently excellent products and service and expand this across a number of locations. Our vision is to change the way people eat pizza by changing the way it is served.”
Sourcing ingredients from Scotland and beyond, the pair have ensured every topping has a fully traceable provenance. Customers are offered Scottish mozzarella from East Lothian, a tomato sauce made in Parma from local tomatoes, a bespoke Italian sausage created so it curls beautifully when cooked, their own-recipe meatballs, Pesto Genovese (DOP) made using Genoese basil and extra-virgin olive oil, Salamello Salumi from Milan, and free-range hen’s eggs from Scotland. A further 48 ingredients are offered.
Bhasker said: “The essence of Italian cooking, in fact any cooking, is great ingredients and this has been the basis of our development. We set out to create the best pizza possible, not just once, but every time. I’ve been making pizza at home since I was 15 and have only really eaten pizza better on one to two occasions. Shortly after we opened I made pizza at home and my wife had to admit she preferred @pizza. Rather disappointing for me, but it proved we had got it right!”
In keeping with @pizza’s high-quality ideals every product served has to be the best it can be. Rather than opting for generic soda brands, @pizza has developed its own-recipe craft sodas. Made with Fair Trade unrefined cane sugar and stevia. Each of the six flavour combinations, including Sicilian lemonade made with lemons from Sicily, peach and honey iced tea, and grapefruit and juniper, are made with 100% natural ingredients with refreshingly authentic results. Stevia is a naturally sweet ingredient and has been used to keep the sugar levels down to approximately 100 calories per glass. Not as low as a diet drink, but preferable to artificial sweeteners.
The @pizza customer enjoys a fully customisable, made-to-order eating experience that starts at the counter where fresh oval bases are carefully layered with ingredients, before being cooked in a special conveyer belt oven. Once ready the customer is presented with a final selection of ingredients to finish their pizza. For the indecisive, a core range of pre-designed pizzas are available, including At Tiffany’s – a breakfast pizza, Mean Greens – a salad pizza, and Vanilla Sky – a dessert pizza made with chocolate sauce, mixed berries, icing sugar and sweet ricotta.
Open 7 days a week, the @pizza experience is perfect as part of an evening out, meeting up with friends or as quick lunch. The strikingly modern interior featuring imagery by local artists, great playlists, USB chargers and a huge glass frontage is designed to make people want to linger, but @pizza appeals equally to those who prefer their food to go. It’s anytime dining at its best.