A new pizza place has opened up on Bellenden Road, the ‘posh bit’ of Peckham. Yes, there is a posh bit. It’s in the spot that housed the once popular Bellenden Brasserie which apparently went downhill and eventually closed as a result. 168SLA Pizza hasn’t been open long and when we approached on a Thursday evening it was mostly empty save for a table of three and a nervous looking owner pacing around inside.
I was relieved to find that they make one thing only: pizza. I defaulted to my favourite toppings of anchovy and capers. I also ordered a green salad, not to make myself feel healthier but because I genuinely enjoy a green salad with my pizza. Apparently this is hard for some people to understand. Anyway. The pizza was actually pretty good. A decent base – not too thin, nor thick. Mine could have done with a bit more char but my companion’s was perfect and come on, they’ve just opened. Toppings were good quality, well judged in quantity and the tomato sauce and cheese melded into a very silky, almost liquid layer like it does on all the best pizzas.
That said, I can’t avoid mentioning the side salad, which was diabolical. A few supermarket leaves, half of them doused in a bottle dressing and half of them completely dry. This upset me. Just wash a lettuce, cut it up, make a decent dressing and coat the leaves with it. Please.
There has also been criticism from the ever eagle-eyed users of the East Dulwich Forum about the interior; mainly they consider it too bare and well, it is. At first our voices echoed – it felt like a hurriedly half-finished refurbishment and I became self-conscious. Later though it started filling up and with it came more atmosphere. I hope that once they’ve found their feet the place develops a little more character – they’ll need to cosy things up for the winter months. Despite those grumbles, I hope they do well. It’s clear they care about the pizza, they just need to care a little more about everything else.
168 Bellenden Road
Saturday: 12pm-12am (last orders 11pm)
At the time I visited they were only able to take payment in cash, so bear this in mind if you’re planning to visit.