Directly across the road from our favourite craft beer boozer in Camberwell – Stormbird – is the newly opened Theo’s Pizza & Panuozzo. It seems to be on the uptake too as a couple of tables in Stormbird had a few of the pizzas on the go as we sat and drank in the beer and the smells from the boxes.
The man behind the operation is Theo Lewis – who is an ex-head chef from the Pizza East stable. So if you trust Pizza East then you should back a guy going out on a limb himself. Theo has spent a decent amount of time among the wood-fired ovens around the world. After failing to get a green card to move to New York he headed to Sydney, Australia to work alongside Peter Bilson who has made a name for himself Down Under as the godfather of wood-fired ovens.
Its a generous space with three different rooms, whitewashed walls, smaller tables that can be booked, a small bar that overlooks the kitchen and a large communal table to accommodate those of us not willing to book. The staff are up to speed with the menu and servings are decent. As we sit down, the lady across from us is making her way through the meat and cheese board with wood oven onions, cresentine, chillis, buffalo mozzarella and speck. It defeated her – so for £10 that’s what I’m attempting on the next visit.
It’s a menu of pizza predominantly (as you would expect), but with other things thrown in, such as salads, antipastis, cured meats, cheese and ice cream. Pricing is decent with a margherita pizza at £6.50 with most of the other pizza options landing at around £9-10. We were here to sample the pizza so I ordered the Camberwell Scotch Bonnet Ndjua which I thought could possibly hospitalise me – but lucky enough, while it did have some spice I didn’t detect any real heat. Additional heat came from the chilli oil on the communal table – so not sure what happened there.
My parter in crime decided on one of the vegetarian options of wood-oven aubergine with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. The pizzas are a very good size, come straight from the oven to the table and have a nice dose of burnt edges to keep things real.