What do you get when you make a bunch of bloggers compete against each other? It turns whatever event it is into a battleground.
The other evening, a group of us were invited to Ponti’s behind Oxford Circus for an evening of Emilio Romagno food and to make our own pizzas at their “Pizza School”.
The Pizza School is such a fun idea and in reality, it was rather tasty too. What you get is a piece of pizza dough, shaped and spun thinly, in preparation for the toppings of your choice.
There is a massive array of ingredients to choose from and as their specialities are from the Emilio Romagno region, you have Salame Felino, Prosciutto Crudo (Parma Ham), Parmigiano Reggiano, Italian Green Olives, Mozzarella di Buffala, Mortadella, Coppa Ham and Pancetta to choose from. If you like your bog standard toppings, they also have tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, anchovies and even goats cheese too. Everything but pineapple!
The chefs were to pick a winner out of all the pizzas being created and everyone got creative. I didn’t win. These were then put into the pizza over for abour 7 minutes and out came our creations. We all put our pizzas into boxes and took them home. I had mine for lunch the next day and it was great since I had gone completely overboard with the toppings.
I have sort of started writing this backwards as the pizza school happened at the end of our evening after we have sampled upteen courses from their new menus. More of that below.
Ponti’s is a family run Italian restaurant that has been in London for decades. They pride themselves on serving Italian food with the abundant ingredients from the Emilio Romagno region. This region does supply Italy with a lot of their most famous produce.
Of the new menu, we sampled the following dishes. It was a real feast but all these dishes were shared, so we got to taste a bit of everything.
The next one is a novel way of serving the mozzarella and worked nicely as a starter.
Anything wrapped in Parma ham is a winner, especially these scallops.
The Italians do a great anti pasti dish. A fab selection of hams, salami and cheese.
Just when we thought it was all over, even more dishes turned up.
Now a good fish stew is something I cannot resist. This was a nicely tangy tomato base with a selection of fish and shell fish. Quite a substantial meal all by itself. One of my favourite dishes of the evening.
The only pasta dish to feature and it was very well executed, great parcels of oozy cheese and spinach. Could have had a whole main course portion of this one.
Ponti’s new contempary decor and casual vibe belies the type of food that is offered on the menu. From the outside you would be mistaken to think that it is like one of those chain places on many high streets. It is more than that. I
The pizza school is great fun and they do packages for £18 where you get to make the pizza and have a glass of prosecca and finish off with an ice cream. Bargain. Not available on Fridays or Saturdays though.
Next time you are shopping in Oxford Street this might be a good stop for lunch.
Ponti’s Italian Kitchen
5-7 John Princes Street,
London W1G 0JN
Tel: 020 3230 3018