Brunch on Saturday: Radici review: Is there anything more beautiful than a 'pizza brunch'?
If the words “pizza brunch” don’t excite you, then I’m afraid we can never be friends. Forget “cellar door”; I don’t think there are two more beautiful words in the English language.
Aside from its euphonic charm, it’s also the main draw at Radici, Francesco Mazzei’s laid-back and slightly cavernous Islington restaurant. The premise is simple: pizza, if you go down that route, along with eggs, pancakes and the option to add on bottomless prosecco for £15 per person.
Funnily enough, it’s the other brunch dishes we enjoy even more than the pizza. “Tuscany meets Puglia” is Eggs in Purgatory’s burlier cousin, boasting a beautifully thick and rich pappa al pomodoro, on top of which sits two white ovoids.
Cut into one of them: a poached egg. And the other? Burrata, wonderfully creamy and immediately Instagram friendly; the red of the tomato soup mixing with the white of the cheese and the green of the basil on top, in the most Italian way possible. It’s enough to make you sing Inno di Mameli.
That’s not to say the pizza isn’t excellent. It really is. The base has the lightness of dough that’s been allowed to properly prove over several days, and the tomato sauce on the margherita is outstanding. It’s a noteworthy pizza, even at a time where you can get great pizza across London. A pizza brunch might seem almost oxymoronic; pizzas being perfectly constructed for an evening in or the end of a night out.
But when you reduce a pizza to what it really is – a well-balanced combination of pliable bread, cheese and tomato – it becomes clear that it’s essentially a breakfast food, and it works perfectly as one here. Still, if a margherita sounds odd for brunch, you can go down the smoked salmon and avocado route, or perhaps pancetta and baked egg on their pinsa.
This trattoria provides great value, particularly for a restaurant in the Mazzei empire. It’s a lot more accessible than Sartoria in Mayfair, and won’t break the bank like L’Anima can. Is it as good as either of those restaurants? Maybe not, but it ultimately rests on whether you feel it’s a pizza brunch that’s missing in your life.
Indian spiced potato rosti, haddock and poached egg stack recipe
A beautiful Indian recipe which finds traditional Indian spices being complimentarily soothed by the presence of coconut milk and flavours of mint. You'll also be taken through the process of making a sambal and chutney.
Cook in: 25 mins
400g Fluffy potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward), peeled
4 Smoked haddock portions, about 180g per portion
200g carrot, peeled
2 tsp curry powder
2 egg yolks
1 tsp fresh coriander
2 spring onions, finely chopped
120g spinach leaves
4 large eggs
2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Grate the potato and carrot into a clean tea-towel and squeeze out any water. In a large bowl add the grated potato and carrot and mix in the curry powder, spring onions, egg yolk and coriander. Mix well.
Divide the rosti mixture in 4 and then shape into rosti shapes. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and cook the rostis until golden and crisp before turning to cook on the other side. While they’re cooking, place a pan of water on the stove about 3 inches deep and bring to a simmer, adding a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
Pop your grill on high. Place the haddock onto a tray, dot with 10g of the butter and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Crack the eggs into the simmering water and poach for 3-4 minutes. Lastly, melt the remaining 10g of butter in a saucepan and cook the spinach until wilted.
To plate up, place the rosti on your plates, top with the spinach, then the haddock and finally the poached egg. I like to sprinkle a little curry powder before serving.
Recipe from Lovepotatoes.co.uk