Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Restaurant Review: Forza Win, Aldgate, London

Forza Win starter: courgette carpaccio, ricotta and toasted sourdough

Last summer I heard a lot of hype about a new summer pop up called Forza Win. The idea of great food served on a London rooftop during a balmy summers evening seemed too good to turn down.

Clearly everyone else had heard the hype too, as by the time I tried to book tickets they had all gone. Not wanting to miss out this year, I booked my tickets back in April as soon as they want on sale. Last Friday the date finally arrived for our rooftop pizza.

It's a great concept and even the weather played ball as we had a dry (if not terribly hot) evening. Up on the roof they have two wood fired ovens which always get me excited. I'd love to try cooking my own pizzas and sourdough breads in a wood fired oven someday. It turns out that my friends Rob and Katie have the same dream to. Which one of us will get a pizza oven in our back garden first?

Courgette pizza
We began with a starter of courgette carpaccio, English ricotta, toasted sourdough and sweet and spicy sauce. It was a light, fresh and very pleasant way to start the evening.

After the starters the pizzas began to slowly roll out. All of the pizzas had simple toppings made with quality ingredients, just as I prefer. I think the greatest mistake you can make with a pizza is to overload the toppings.

Despite the great concept the execution didn't quite work for me. The pizzas didn't have that really crisp base and little bit of char that you'd expect from a wood fired oven. I was quite surprised by this. Perhaps the ovens weren't quite hot enough?

Portobello mushroom, garlic and truffle oil

They bring out two different pizzas at once, cut into eight slices. The idea is that the four of you sitting round one pizza take a slice each and then swap plates with your neighbours. Meaning you should get a slice each of two different pizzas. Unfortunately it means that you are entirely at the mercy of your neighbours. If they play with the slices that are meant for you, it doesn't work so well.

It also isn't great if you are a vegetarian. I'd emailed a couple of weeks before we went to say that two of our group were vegetarians an was assured that it wasn't a problem. But on the night only 50% of the pizzas were vegetarian, meaning the veggies only got half as much to eat. Not well thought out at all.

Finally I thought the value was pretty poor. During the night you get eight slices of pizza, which adds up to one whole pie for £30. The pizzas are provided by Pizza Pilgrims who serve the same pizzas for £9-10 a pop. Sure you get a bit of variety, but it's overpriced in my book. Wine was a pricey £25 a bottle too. (Wines start at £20 a bottle.)


  1. So really it's a way to skim money from food bloggers and hipsters?

    I might have to set up a "pop up" myself.

  2. I think you've got this pretty much spot on, although as you said later you missed out the weirdness of the bathroom arrangements which were, essentially, someone's bathroom. Complete with bath & creepy shower curtain. Rather strange.

    So far as the wine goes, I think there may actually have been a bottle at £20, but the stuff we were getting was really only a <£20 pizza restaurant bottle of wine anyway, so they were ramping it up quite a bit. It didn't stop us ordering another one after you'd gone though...