Restaurant Review: Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, Ancoats

Rudy’s Pizza Ancoats – Worth The Dough

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza has taken Manchester by storm, so much so, Napoli has become my second team. Entry to the Ancoats site was a lottery: like a meek sixteen-year-old slipping into Wetherspoons with fake ID and an even faker moustache, I prayed for access. Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza was too cool for bookings and the queue was an hour. The Mrs started to panic. Fortuitously, Seven Bro7hers BeerHouse was ready and waiting moments away, temporarily quenching hunger pangs with excellent craft ales.

Despite Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza being consistently busy, I was chirpily greeted and ushered to ring side seats opposite the chefs in a welcoming manner. I asked about the different Mozzarella – I couldn’t tell a word they said – but felt their passion the way deaf people hear the vibrations of an orchestra. I gratefully received delicious samples of the different Mozzerella, even though the pizzas where scarily quick to be served.

Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Review Northern Quarter Manchester
Mozzarella Magic at Rudys
Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Review Northern Quarter Manchester
Great Value Sicilian Red

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza is about simplicity; dough contains only four ingredients (flour, water, salt and yeast) and pizzas are only cooked for one minute. Rudy’s is proudly Neapolitan – not ‘thin and crispy’ and absolutely not ‘deep pan’.

Rudy’s pizzas are a thing of beauty. Billowing doughy crusts, rising and falling, before popping with lightly charred edges, run down to tissue paper thin bases. This is the pizza you lament you’ve only had in Italy. The luxurious salty cheese, nostril filling basil aromas, umami pumped tomatoes – this is what no frills Italian cooking is all about. However, toppings inelegantly slide from base to plate, like a collapsed drunk falling from a taxi and everything was very salty; but, with so much savoury deliciousness filling your mouth nobody cared.

How do Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza create these pieces of magic? It’s simple really. Water, flour, salt & yeast is mixed, before being softened by hand and rolled into perfectly identical balls. To quote these pizza geniuses:” We believe that in order to create a Neapolitan Pizza one must use the freshest, finest and most authentic ingredients; the main event is the Caputo ‘00’ flour which comes straight from Naples to give our dough the bounce it needs”.

Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Review Northern Quarter Manchester
Just look at that crust…
Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Review Northern Quarter Manchester
Slice of Neapolitan Heaven
Rudy's Neapolitan Pizza Review Northern Quarter Manchester
A good, honest Polenta Cake

Rudy’s Ancoats’ interior was rather plain but the atmosphere carried a real buzz. Considering the characterful wine and reasonable price point – give me Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza over High Street chains any day.

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza Wine Prices

The Rudy’s Neapolitan pizza wine list is small but perfectly formed. They are all Italian wines and despite the small selection, is all you need with pizza. The cheapest bottle of wine is either a Catarratto or a Nero D’Avola, which are both by Palazzo Del Mare, from Sicily at £15.90. The most expensive bottle of wine is a Prosecco by La Vita Sociale at a comfortable £22. If you’re more of a grain than a grape person, the local Runaway Pale Ale  is recommended, but I’d suggest the high acidity fruity wines work better with pizza then something just as yeasty.

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza Ancoats
Review Score

When the food is this delicious, affordable and service is friendly, it’s hard not to love. Having to walk through Ancoats and being put on a waiting list is a bit of a faff; still, Rudy’s is definitely worth it.

Atmosphere 8/10    Cost 10/10    Quality 9/10    Service 8/10

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Ancoats Manchester

Find Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
Ancoats Manchester

  • Confidentials: “…to ward off the nasty folk possessed of the evil eye you have to touch your genitals or make the sign of the horns…”
  • Food Geek Blog: “The space is very basic inside but that doesn’t matter if the food’s up to their usual standard.”

Restaurant Review: Beigel Bake, Shoreditch

Beigel Bake – Brick Lane Brashness

Beigel Bake is an institution. There was a magical quality to this small piece of East London, offering authentic, no-nonsense, affordable food. Beigel Bake’s been bustling away since Shoreditch was a ditch. As Vice Magazine lamented, “I watched Shoreditch go from magical hinterland to the abattoir of culture it is today”. In the meantime Beigel Bake’s been extraordinarily industrious, open 24/7,  cranking out an impressive 7,000 bagels a day.

Honest, family-owned, working-class eateries should fuel a city. Despite London’s vibrancy, residents lament the ubiquitous sandwich chains and predatory fast-food corporations everywhere. Foodies fighting for freedom against these globalised monoliths suffer the burden of £4 loaves of bread.

But let’s be fair, Beigel Bake’s staff are outrageously rude. After my first visit to Beigel Bake, I attributed this to a stressful day, thinking nothing of it. I empathised that 24 hours in front of a perpetual line of Shoreditch hipsters could turn Mother Theresa into Robert Mugabe. The second time, the same older lady unnecessarily barked menacingly. The third I time waited patiently, and meekly pleaded: “Can I have four almond croissants please?”. The patron saint of impatience rolled her eyes so far back she toppled over. Every time, irrespective of customer’s behaviour, they are treated like a student telling their PE teacher they’ve forgotten their kit. I’d get my atonement by summoning the courage to ask for a bacon barm cake sarcastically, but I’m terrified of getting a hot cleaver hurled at me.

Regarding food, Beigel Bake’s salt beef bagel’s are the star of the show. The meat is thickly sliced, hot, juicy slabs with a mouthwatering depth of flavour. The generous fillings make queuing out onto Brick Lane worth it. The mustard packs a real punch, and the pickles are an absolute necessity. If the mustard brings too many tears to your eyes, the salmon and cream cheese is a reliable alternative. The bagels themselves vary from soft to chewy, and the mustard portion control fluctuates between a splodge and a deluge. It’s either a by-product of working so industrially or just spitefulness. On various occasions, the fillings were pelted toward the bag, rather than served on the bagel itself. However, this scatter-gun approach to bagel production was forgiven as the prices were so reasonable. It’s not all bagels; the giant croissants are the best possible way to spend 50p in Shoreditch.

Beigel Bake’s perpetual stream of jolly police officers, snap-happy Brick Lane tourists, irritated local alcoholics and cooler-than-thou shell suit-clad students, all eagerly anticipating their 30p doughnuts, is as far away as Great British Bake Off as possible – which isn’t a bad thing. To learn more about Beigel Bake, this charming short film provides a nostalgic bagel-focused memoir of the food and people of Shoreditch.

Beigel Bake Shoreditch
Review Summary

Atmosphere 10  Cost 10  Quality 8  Service 2

Beigel Bake Shoreditch London Review
Beigel Bake Hard At Work
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Shoreditch London Review
Beigel Bake Hard At Work
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Shoreditch London Review
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Beigel Bake Shoreditch

Restaurant Review: Bibimbab Cafe, Bloomsbury

Bibimbab Cafe – Time For A Korea Change

I fully expected to love Bibimbab Café. It benefited from a fantastic location – spitting distance from the fabulous British Museum. Unlike many of the surrounding restaurants, it bravely managed to be both independent and reasonably priced. These positive omens, combined with an unfamiliar cuisine and empty stomach, provided an appetising prospect.

Unfortunately, Bibimbab Cafe’s atmosphere was so dour, it made Pyongyang seem like Las Vegas. When I learnt Bibimbab Cafe was a Korean, I assumed South not North. Service was so anonymous, I came into the restaurant knowing nothing about Korean cuisine and left knowing less.

Feeling like the typical Brit abroad, the laminate drinks menu left me utterly clueless; with no support on offer, I meekly helped myself to a Diet Coke. The drinks menu was at least genuine, and no doubt familiar for the already initiated.

The menu focused on finely shredded healthy things honouring a sliced egg, terracotta broths with brillo pad sized tofu and uniform sushi. The website proudly advised: “Bibimbab can be almost anything you want it to be” – the one request it couldn’t accommodate was flavour.

The Spicy Pork was not spicy; I gave it the benefit of the doubt it was pork. It was languid with redundant floppy fatty pieces, served in an impressively anaemic soup. The Korean Style Beef had the elegance of a Döner kebab, but certainly had a punchy flavour that really was the dogs’ bollocks.

As Bloomsbury offers other Korean restaurants; unfortunately, I can’t justify a return to the Bibimbab Cafe.

Bibimbab Cafe
Review Summary

Atmosphere 2  Cost 7  Quality 3  Service 3

Bibimbab Cafe London Review
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