Critics have felt my ranking of the pizza at Story Deli in East London as eighth best in London was wrongheaded. After a long period of soul searching I’ve arrived at the same conclusion, only from the opposite direction.
For purists the problem is the wafer-thin platform made from the no-yeast dough owner-baker Lee Hollingworth flattens with a rolling pin and bakes for 30 seconds at 400°C (750°F). There’s zero give, bend or compression to the crust, only crunch.
“I wouldn’t consider it pizza,” commented Mike Morroni. “(It’s) more a bread and topping creation.”
Others complain a pizza format nearly as light as a prawn cracker isn’t filling and, at £16, isn’t cheap. They’re right: Pound for pound it’s the priciest pizza in London.
Or maybe it’s not pizza at all, as the purists – especially those with a Neapolitan bent – maintain. If what Story Deli calls pizza is merely a flatbread then it doesn’t belong on any pizza listing, much less my London Top 10. I get that.
But if you recognise Hollingworth’s abstract creation as a pizza, which I did three years ago when I put it on a list now overdue for a reshuffling, and if you’ve praised it as the most remarkable pizza with the highest quality organic toppings in London and the first one you’d take a foodie friend from New York to try then a ranking no better than eighth is feeble and indefensible.
I demand a retraction and an apology. From me.
Story Deli‘s has relocated for the third time, to 123 Bethnal Green Road (just off Brick Lane), E2 7DG (map)