Food review: Trying the pizza at new vegan city takeaway
- Credit: Stuart Anderson
How is the food at one of Norwich's newest meat-free takeaways? Stuart Anderson picked up an order from Pizzaterian to find out.
Nothing says 'lockdown dining' quite as much as a plate full of pizza and chips on the couch.
So to mark a wintery Saturday night at this peculiar point in human history we went online pick our dinner from Pizzaterian, a new venture operating from the same building as Namaste Village in Norwich's Queens Road.
The idea here is takeaway favorites such as pizza, burgers and chips done entirely meat free, with both vegetarian and vegan options available.
Many have a slap of Indian inspiration, so classics like Margherita and Tex Mex sit side-by-side with flavours such as masala and tandoori.
We put most of our order together from the 'pizza meal deal for two' option, which gives you two pizzas with a side, chips and two drinks for £29.95.
I don't mind a bit of heat, so I went for the Chilli Pizzaterian Pepperoni (£11.95 on its own).
Its toppings were red onion, cheese, sweet corn, jalapenos and slices of meat-free pepperoni, which, as usual with these kind of meat substitutes, tasted similar to but not as heavy as the real thing.
But just as fish and chips is really all about the chips, pizza is really all about the crust. Thankfully this above all else is something the gang at Pizzaterian have learned to do well.
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The bread was crunchy on the outside and chewy and fresh in the centre and made a satisfying rip as I tore off each bite. The crust seemed to have been made with a hint of spice itself which is something I'd never experienced.
My wife got the Tropical Delight pizza (normally £10.95) adding on the 'make it vegan' option for another £1.75 and the vegan chicken for an extra £1.75.
This was fairly similar to my pizza, but was topped with pepper, and tomato. There was also pineapple which I picked off the slice I tried, because you just can't sit on the fence on some issues.
Both pizzas came with a sachet of ketchup which we felt were a bit unnecessary so they went straight in the cupboard.
The side we picked was buffalo cauliflower (normally £6.95). Some people regard the cauliflower as broccoli's vapid great-aunt, but others know how to put it on the main stage at Glastonbury and throw t-shirts at it.
It really is undervalued as a snack, and giving it a buffalo coating made this little vegetable an unbeatable side. It came with a pot of vegan mayonnaise.
We didn't hold back with our chip selection either, going for a portion of the cheesy masala (normally £4.95) from the 'potato chips in style' section of the menu. The chips were cut quite thin, almost like fries, and the masala flavouring worked exceptionally well.
This dish came with a little pot of chilli sauce, which I delved into repeatedly even though I was also eating a pizza liberally covered in jalapenos, because if you're going to get on that chilli train, you might as well ride it all the way home.
For dessert, we shared the chocolate ice cream (£5.95). This is a tub of dairy-free Swedish Glace.
It's made with soy and had a texture so rich and creamy I could have sworn it was made with dairy. It's a plain rather than a Ben and Jerry's fancy style of ice cream, so we spiced it up a bit ourselves by adding a slice of homemade warm brownie to our bowls - the crazy things you can do when dining in, eh!
You get quite a serving - 750ml - so there was enough left for seconds the next following evening.
With a few add-ons, desserts and drinks included our total bill came to £43.15, which was great value for such a feast. There are a couple of discount codes you can use - to be found on the website - if you don't want to go for the one of the meal deals, which are another way of bringing the price down.
The ice cream was more expensive than what you'd pay for it at the supermarket, but that's no different to what happens when you order from the drinks menu at any takeaway.
There's a decent range of soft drinks, fruit juice, beer and wine that you can pick up to go along with your meal if you're not already stocked up at home.
All of the wines are in the £10 to £15 range, or you can get a small bottle of Prosecco for £4.80. I went for an Old Jamaica ginger beer (£2.20) while my partner got herself a bottle of Kopparberg mixed fruit cider (£3.75).
I went and picked up the meal from Namaste Village and it all went very smoothly. The order was ready at the time we wanted it (which you can state when ordering) and everything was Covid-compliant.
You just take a few steps into the restaurant where there is a table set up, and someone brings your order out from behind the bar, which is attached to the kitchen.
My Chilli Pizzaterian Pepperoni was brilliant - I didn't think I'd be able to polish off the whole ting in one sitting and was counting on having a few slices left over for breakfast the next day. But sure enough, I emptied the box that night and it was back to muesli the morning after.
With its absence of meat and innovative flavours, Pizzaterian has achieved something difficult: A fresh take on traditional weekend takeaway favourites.
Whether you're a fully-fledged vegetarian or vegan or if (like me) you merely don't mind going without meat once in a while, it's well worth a try.
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If you liked that, try these
The Green Eatery, Opie Street, Norwich
Brought to you by the same people as Pizzaterian, this new venture serves Indian-inspired international food from the former Namaste India restaurant. The menu has a focus on stuffed pancakes.
St Andrews Hill, Norwich, Norwich
This popular pizza place is running a collection service or delivery via Deliveroo. For meat eaters, the mushroom-and-salami-topped Lucifero is unbeatable.
Namaste Village, Queens Road, Norwich
The home of Pizzaterian, this strictly vegetarian spot is one of the places to source your Indian food from in the city.
*Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.
How you can support your favourite restaurant in lockdown
Takeaways - While more places have opted to stay closed for the next few weeks, plenty are still open and offering takeaway meals for delivery or collection.
Vouchers - A valuable way to help businesses, you can buy yourself - or a loved one, as a gift - a voucher now to enjoy when it's safe to do so down the line.
Shop local - Make sure to support restaurant and pub suppliers, including beer, cheese and fruit and vegetables, by shopping local.
Social media - It's not an easy time for many people financially. A simple like on Facebook or follow on Instagram shows support for traders, though, and can help them build exposure.
Don't forget them when they reopen - It might feel like it, but this lockdown isn't forever, and our support should be consistent.