PIZZA PUNKS NEWCASTLE – GREY ST REVIEW
When Aaron Neville sang ‘I don’t know much, but I know I love you’ what he really meant was, ‘I don’t know much, but I know I love pizza’. Because who doesn’t love Pizza?
We were lucky enough to be invited down to a preview night before opening day today to check out this lastest Pizza offering. ‘A pizza revolution is coming’ they say so Helen Newman popped down to see what all the excitement was about.
Pizza punks Newcastle is the latest restaurant to launch in the prime location of Grey Street in Newcastle and considering myself as quite the pizza expert, me and my better half went along to see what it was all about. On first setting foot in the place you already know this is going to be a different type of dining experience as the bright neon lights and loud music are quite the assault on the senses. The witty signs on the wall and the fully stocked bar and an instagrammers dream and despite it only being a Wednesday night there was a real weekend vibe to the place.
A mix of classic rock and modern classics pumped out across the open restaurant which wasn’t too loud or overbearing. If there’s anything I like more than pizza and cocktails it’s a bit of Guns n Roses and New Order. I’m also a big fan of an open kitchen where the whole restaurant had full view of the large stone pizza open. A strong start. But was it a case of style over substance?
The whole concept of the restaurant is great. £10 for a pizza and you can have whatever you want on it at no extra cost. As someone much more intelligent than me once said, the problem with having everything you ever wanted is having to figure out what to do with it. So choosing some toppings was proving a challenge. To be fair you are provided with a comprehensive list of what’s available before you go thinking that you can just start adding marmite to a pizza. After much deliberation I went for Newcastle brown ale brisket, Tuscan sausage, black pudding and tortilla chips and my dining companion candied bacon, chorizo, Irn Bru pulled pork, goats cheese and rocket. And if you really can’t decide, there are a few pre suggested options you can go for instead which are slightly cheaper (The Full English did look particularly tempting).
Service was speedy and friendly with the wait staff extremely knowledgeable about the menu and offered recommendation on what to choose and advice of what cheese melted best (goats cheese doesn’t melt FYI so need to choose mozzarella as well) . Whilst our pizzas came out within 15 minutes of ordering, we noticed that people around us waited over an hour for theirs and when we ordered our second cocktails waited about 20 minutes for that. Luckily there were representatives from the Newcastle Gin company and Anarchy brewery floating around offering samples to keep us hydrated but had there not been I reckon I’d have been pretty antsy waiting for my drink. We were also told that we needn’t order any starters because the serving staff would be circulating with samples. If that was the case they never made it to our table so weren’t able to try any. First night teething problems perhaps?
Drinks wise, there’s a wide range from house beer and wine (at an eye watering £5 a pint or 175ml glass of wine) to the much more reasonable cocktails which fall between £7-£9 depending on their extravagance. As we were attending a press launch we only had choice between wine, beer or two cocktails; The Loveheart Caipiroska and the Garden Fizz, both of which we tried and were lovely, if a little on the sweet side so I would recommend as an aperitif or dessert cocktail rather than something that accompanies your main meal.
On first impression Pizza Punks have hit on a novel concept with some interesting local twists which makes it feel less like a chain. The pizzas were a decent size, toppings were generous and we certainly felt full afterwards. I think if they can tighten up their serving times and lower their drinks prices they could really be a force to be reckoned with and be a welcome alternative to a city full of ‘cheap n cheerful’ Italian restaurants.
Thanks to Helen for guest blogging for us. If you liked this then see what else she gets up to at www.honestlyhelen.com