Bellillo (“cute”) is a Naples style pizzeria located in Fulham, and which opened in late 2015. The pizza oven came from Naples, and many ingredients are imported from farms in that region. The oven gets up to 450C, which is a bit below the 485C that is the recommended minimum for a Naples style pizza, according to the Associazione Verace Piza Napoletana. Prices were somewhat ambitious: a Margherita pizza was £8.50 (compared to £6.40 at Franco Manca at the tme of writing) and my Castelpoto pizza was £14.50.
There was a short wine list of just eight bottles ranging in price from £19.90 to £39.90. Examples were Cantine Federiciane Piedirosso 2014 at £29.90 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £5, and Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2011 at £34.90 compared to its retail price of £22. Beer was a hefty £5.90 for a 330 ml bottle. Mind you, after my £17 beer in Seoul at Gaon everything seems cheap by comparison. Arancini was decent, the breadcrumb coating not quite crisp enough but the risotto filling reasonable (12/20). This was better than crocche, deep friend mash potato and provola cheese. This was bland and lacked sufficient salt (10/20).
The pizzas we tried certainly had a good, supple base, though the oven temperature meant that there was none of the charcoal blistering that you get in a really hot oven. The tomato sauce tasted good and the toppings were OK. What was surreal was that the olive pizza came with just eight olives – count em’ and weep. This is absurd portion control given that the pizza cost a chunky £14 (between 12/20 and 13/20 for the pizza). Oddly, the best thing I tasted was actually the side salad of rocket. This had genuinely good, peppery rocket, nice cherry tomatoes and a well-balanced balsamic dressing (14/20).
Desserts are bought in from a company in Italy. Rum baba was actually quite moist though the texture of the baba was poor, resembling cardboard (10/20). This was still better than a lemon parfait, which was remarkably lacking in lemon flavour, or indeed much flavour at all (8/20). Coffee was from an Italian company called Borbone, popular in Naples, who supply coffee capsules, and was decent enough.
Our waitress was pleasant but inept, forgetting the salad that we ordered (twice) even though we were literally the only customers in the restaurant. The bill came to £38 apiece, with just beer to drink. Admittedly we had three courses, but this felt like quite a lot of money for what appeared. If you decide to try this restaurant then my advice would be to stick to the pizza and salad. For me the top pizza in London, at least at the time of writing, is to be found at L’Oro di Napoli in South Ealing, though of course there are several other excellent places too.
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