A special occasion (my birthday) calls for a visit to “some place nice”. I had the family visiting all the way from a far flung isle (well, Bolton actually), and as a self-respecting foodie, the pressure was on to find a lovely place. Being in an experimental, somewhat cavalier mood of late, I was curious to try out a place where I had never dined before.
I have previously popped into Amalfi White last year for a drink, and as it looked like a quaint place, I thought my birthday would be a good time to check out the restaurant’s food offerings.
The exterior is pretty in all its pale gravel glory. The Prosecco bar and seating area is cute and compact, where one waits for a pre-meal drink. The ambience is light and airy, much like a heaven-esque concourse. (I almost expected a booming Morgan Freeman’s God-like voice to shout: “You made it to heaven, well done!”) Post-drink, we were seated in the middle of the restaurant and promptly ordered pizza.
The restaurant staggers its menu offerings dependent upon the time; by the time we had rocked up for a late lunch, it was gone 3pm and the menu had been pared right back to pizza orders only. A word of advice – do check what menus are available before visiting and do try to book beforehand.
There are five menus to choose from, including gluten free and desserts. We dined off the Urban menu and ordered four wood-fired pizzas. I hadn’t realised how huge they’d be (I honestly felt like Thumbelina, the pizzas were ginormous). Here are my thoughts on the pizzas which were all thin base and wonderfully rustic to boot.
- Margherita (San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil). Simple and tasty tomato base, just a subtle hint of basil. Would have liked to see perhaps a few leaves of basil on top, and perhaps drizzle the edges of the pizza with olive oil for softer texture.
- Americano Piccante (spiced pepperoni, mozzarella, jalapeño peppers, red chillies, tomato, watercress, Parmesan). Very good understanding of flavours on Chefs’ part. Peppers and chillies packed a peppery punch, whilst the green of jalapeños and watercress was a welcome burst of colour on the pizza.
- The Mediterranean (Mediterranean vegetables, basil pesto, sun-blushed tomatoes, marinated artichokes). Tomatoes were piquant and went well with the roast vegetables. Generous amount of cheese on this pizza which was gloriously gooey too. Couldn’t really taste the marinade on artichokes.
- Amalfi Club (crispy bacon, corn-fed chicken, Gorgonzola, chilli jam, fresh garlic, parsley oil). I subbed the bacon for prosciutto and loved it. I’m a huge fan of garlic, and this was super garlicky. There was a liberal use of Gorgonzola, which was great for me (I am discovering a latent love for strong cheeses), however this pizza was seen as too pungent for the rest of my dining party.
I had the pleasure of chatting (albeit briefly) to José, and also saw him in action as he stood baking his heart out, whilst sweltering near the wood-fired oven. This guy can cook a mean pizza, and I strongly recommend you check out his deliciously cheesy, rustic offerings.
Amalfi White is a gorgeous place to be in. It’s a brasserie with heart, boasting a Grand Ballroom replete with eight chandeliers, The White Bar for business meetings, a beautiful terraced garden and a cutesy Prosecco and Cocktail bar. I only ate the pizza, next time, I would like to try something from the Chef’s Menu. The pizzas went down a treat and a visit to Amalfi White was a great way to kick-start my birthday weekend. I will be back for sure.
Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)
Value for money: 7.5
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Address: 50 Derby Road, Melbourne, Derbyshire, DE73 8FE.
Tel: 01332 694 890
*Interior images courtesy of Amalfi White Restaurant