Whilst recently riding a wave of successful dining choices, it seems I have allowed myself to become caught in some fey riptide whose sole concern is to drag me from one Italian restaurant to another. Though this has hardly been horrid, having now pulled me back in from beautiful Belgravia and washed me up in not-so-beautiful Brixton, I have become suspicious of this current’s intentions. But I decide once more to consign my fate to the fates or more verily, chowhounds, whose compelling recommendations have again proved persuasive.
Franco Manca is a relatively recent arrival on the Brixton restaurant scene, having opened in March this year. New owner, Neapolitan expat Giuseppe Macoli, has some big shoes to fill as this site was previously home to Eco and before that, much-loved Pizzeria Franco. He is determined, however, to establish Franco Manca – literally translated as Franco is missing/missed and a tribute to aforesaid Franco – in its own right by bringing with him a brand new concept: bona fide Neapolitan pizza made from organic, local ingredients.
This is no easy task as, believe it or not, there exists actual laws governing how authentic Neapolitan pizza is made. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (Association of Real Neapolitan Pizza) has laid down a strict set of stipulations that must be satisfied by anyone planning on producing the genuine article. Regulations include that the flour has to be type 0 or 00 (strong flour with high-protein content); the dough must be kneaded and formed by hand without using a rolling pin or other mechanical device; it must be baked at above 485°C in a wood-fired oven for no more than 90 seconds; and many more.