This tiny restaurant in the Ferguson Lane complex features rustic-chic minimalism and southern French-style pizza from a wood-fired oven.
Inside, the dark wood floors and beamed ceiling are offset by semi-industrial metallic lamps, and olive oils and spices are lined up on the shelves like potions. Aside from a small table by the door, there’s only one large communal table with a bench on one side and seven uncomfortable stools on the other.
As for the pizzas, there are ten on the blackboard menu, from the Fromage (80RMB) up to the Special Anchois (130RMB). The pizzas, like the place, are defiantly simple – many have just a single topping to add to the standard base of Emmental cheese, cooked homemade tomato sauce and whole olives; and even the more adventurous pizzas keep it classic.
The Royale (120RMB), for example, is a traditional southern French pizza that comes with either a tomato or cream base (stick to the tasty tomato sauce), topped with ham, mushrooms and unpitted olives, and sprinkled with oregano. The ingredients all taste fresh and good quality, but the pizza lacks a certain oomph – it’s on the dry side and has a brittle, thin crust. Plus, putting olives with pits on a pizza just seems silly, since you have to pick them off separately.
The drinks menu is similarly minimalist: two red and two white wines, all organic and from the south of France; an aniseed-y Provencale Pastis liqeur (40RMB); and Stella Artois beer (40RMB), though they’d run out on our visit. The wines come in tumblers rather than wine glasses in a further nod to the studied casualness. Desserts are seasonal: on our visit, fresh, simple strawberries and vanilla cream (50RMB).
Overall, this is a gorgeous space and an interesting concept based around a good product – and with space outside, it could be a great spot in the warmer months. It’s just that the pizzas aren’t up there with the best in town, and 120RMB feels like a lot to pay for a pizza that you’ll most likely eat sitting on a stool while drinking wine from a tumbler. Nathan Hood