Savoy Pizza

10-1 3 Chome, Minato Ku, Tokyo, 106-0046, Japan

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Savoy opened in 2006, located in a quiet side street a short walk from the Roppongi Hills complex. It is a tiny place with ten counter seats arrayed around the kitchen, the heart of which is a big wood fired pizza oven. There is a solitary additional table, and the seats are not designed for lingering. There is a perpetual queue outside at lunch (though you can book in the evening) but customers don’t hang about for long, as the menu is as simple as it could be. You can have a margherita pizza or a marinara pizza, and that is it, though there is a “secret” third pizza option of bianca, which is not listed in the menu, A side salad and a pizza cost ¥1,000 (£7) and they throw in an iced tea at this price. There seems to be a marginally longer menu in the evening with a few appetisers and side dishes available. The restaurant is named after a famous jazz club called the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem that ran through from 1926 through to 1958, an establishment where the Lindy Hop dance was invented and Ella Fitzgerald was the house vocalist. As a nod to this, jazz plays at a moderate volume in the little dining room here.

The pizzas are rolled out in front of you, spread with tomato, mozzarella and basil in the case of the margherita, which is what we had (a marinara features no cheese but has tomato, oregano and garlic). After a few final splashes of olive oil the pizza is manoeuvred carefully onto a wooden paddle and thrust into the 500C oven. This impressive iron oven cooked my pizza in precisely one minute. The base was excellent, nicely fluffed up and covered with the characteristic margherita toppings. The texture was pleasingly chewy and the tomatoes had lovely, deep flavour.

The staff were friendly, and the bill came to £12 a head including some beer. This was an excellent pizzeria. It is a fairly bare bones offering and not the place for a lingering romantic evening, but if you want a very well made classic Neapolitan pizza then this is the place for you.

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