Farina (“flour”) Pizzeria opened in November 2017 in Notting Hill Gate, quite near the tube station. The premises are small and the décor quite basic. No reservations are taken except for large groups. Its executive chef is Emanuele Tagliarina, who previously worked at Santa Maria, one of the top pizzerias in London and a pioneer in the capital in Neapolitan style pizza. The manager is Daniele Viva, who used to work at Pizza Metro Pizza nearby. The dough here is made using Caputo OO flour and live yeast, fermented for up to 48 hours on the premises, the dough stretched by hand. The pizza oven gets up to an impressive 500C, beyond the 430C – 485C range recommended by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana guidelines. The pizzas here are cooked in just a minute, and many of the toppings are imported from Italy.
We tried two pizzas, one a Diavola and the other one with custom toppings. The base was classy, thin, light and with the softness and pliability that a good Naples pizza should have. It was very digestible too, with a rim (the “cornicione”) with traces of blackened edge. The style of pizza of this chef involves very thin dough without much hydrated dough, which can look under-cooked in appearance. Actually the base was really elastic as it should be, and tasted lovely. The toppings were generous and both pizzas were excellent (easily 13/20), up there with some of the better ones in London.
A side salad with rocket and artichokes was presented, if that is the word, heaped in a kitchen bowl, but tasted all right. For dessert, tiramisu was made in the kitchen. Although I liked the texture, objectively there was too much cream and not deep enough coffee flavour when compared with the best of the breed (12/20).
The coffee was from a supplier called Terrone & Co in Hackney, and was pleasant. Service was friendly, and it was noticeable that most of the clientele were speaking Italian. The bill came to just over £25 per person, with beer and a cocktail to drink. My pizza at £9.50 was quite a bit cheaper than its £11.75 equivalent at Pizza Express, yet was infinitely superior. Farina is a fine pizzeria, well worth your time if you are in the area.