Saturday, 1 August 2009

Take-aways: what I love about them

I love food and I'm quite greedy so, of course, take-aways can be very appealing. I'm only human! But, as someone who loves cooking (and who is married to someone who also loves cooking), we get a bit choosy about about take-aways and when we do treat outselves to a take-away, it's usually something we wouldn't attempt to cook. Here are a couple of our favourites:

Firezza Pizza
This small pizza chain has two local outlets (St Paul’s Road, Islington and Crouch End). I’ve been a devoted customer for several years now as used to live down the road from the Islington branch. What makes Firezza so special is that they use traditional wood-fired ovens – resulting in a thin and deliciously smoky pizza base. What’s more, the ingredients used for the toppings are top-notch and the menu is completely mouth-watering. The pizzas are served by length, a half-metre being the minimum order which can be made up of two toppings. This is about the same as two 12” round pizzas, but better value (although 12” round pizzas are available). A little bit confusing, but worth getting your head around as the pizzas are sensational. The menu also includes some really tasty veggie options (especially the Vegetali which features wood-roasted aubergines) and some tempting side dishes and salads. There are also some desserts if you think you’ll have space. (We’ve never needed them as we almost always over-order and enjoy our leftover pizzas reheated for lunch the next day.) Firezza’s delivery service also includes wine, beers and San Pellegrino water and decent soft drinks (and even cigarettes for you naughty smokers); a number of different offers and deals are available on the website.

Blue Sea Fish Bar
This is over on the western side of Kentish Town, but it’s well worth the short drive or cycle as Tufnell Park lacks a proper old style chippy. The Blue Sea clearly has a loyal following judging by the queues for the fried-to-order fish served up by two very friendly and chatty brothers. I’m afraid I’m partial to roe and mushy peas, as well as battered fish, but you can go easy on the chips here. One large portion should be plenty enough for two people (particularly if you, too, like all the ‘extras’). The fish comes in quite a light, crisp batter encasing moist, tender, flaking flesh, and you can choose from a good selection (although it’s worth asking what they recommend that particular day). The chips are fairly big, but crisp and, like the fish, will have been freshly fried. The popularity of the place does ensure a good turnover of food, so nothing seems to have been sitting around for long. A really indulgent classic supper.
143 Queens Crescent, NW5 4ED; tel 020 7267 2299

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