Union Jacks chases the 'new pizza'
28 May, 2012
Jamie Oliver and Chris Bianco’s Union Jacks is a refreshing take on the pizza formula, though not quite a revolutionary concept, the Guardian says in a review of its second branch in Chiswick.
“In the world where people with money overlap with restaurants and try to work out how to make more money, one of the things they talk about is the desire to find ‘the new pizza’… something that can be made fairly cheaply and sold with good margins, and that will appeal to the public as new and modern and as sexy as pizza was when it first burst on the world,” says critic John Lanchester.
Union Jacks’ British flatbreads do not provide that, he decides. “Are these the new pizza? No, they’re not. That’s because they’re the old pizza.” But with imaginative and British-sourced toppings, they do add a new dimension to the tried and tested pizza formula. He rates most of the flatbreads—though not one with six different types of chilli. “I’m as chilli-tolerant as anyone I know, but I’ve never eaten anything as hot as this. I got through half of it, but despite eating all the curd they serve on the side as a cooling condiment, I was in genuine pain.”
Lanchester likes the restaurant, too—“Staff are friendly and interested in what they’re serving, and the place looks just right, a cross between a British café and an Italian pizzeria”—and applauds its policy of using small and local suppliers and British-only drinks. “I can’t think of another chain restaurant that does that. Here’s hoping it starts a trend."
For the full story, see Restaurant: Union Jacks, London W4.