Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crate Brewery review

I have found the holy grail of pizza. And it's in Hackney Wick.

Crate Brewery resides in an old disused building called the White Building. It is, you can guess, white in colour so you won't miss it. Despite it's rather pretentious and grandeur name, the White Building is just an average sized building that happens to house a pizzeria and brewery, it also houses a creative lab with studio spaces for hipster East London artists. The building can be found right by the western side of Hertford Union canal, happily on the other side of Stratford. You can also just about see that ugly towering monument known as the Orbit sticking out somewhere from the Olympic Park.

As evident from their name, Crate Brewery also brew their own goddamned beers. Now I don't pretend to be a beer expert, but I do know that craft beer is supposed to be all the rage these days, as if it confirms your cred - so I guess that is rather impressive (they taste good actually). Oh and they also make pizzas. Bleeding good pizzas actually.

Opened a couple of months (edit: eight months ago) ago, Crate Brewery has gained a reputation for outstanding pizzas, so we figured, these pizzas better be damn good, especially when they come in Soho price tags. Their pizzas feature rather unconventional toppings such as Middle Eastern lamb and Laksa chicken. It was packed, but it happened to be Open House weekend (The White Building was opened to the public), so we were told our pizzas would arrive 40 minutes later.

We ordered both the Laksa chicken and spicy salami pizza, plus a pint of Crate's own IPA and Golden Ale (neither of which were cheap) before embarking on operation find a table. Eventually we found a couple of seats outside. It was a perfect evening, only hampered by a couple of noisy drunken (it was 7pm) douchewaffles dicking about and wasting perfectly good beer by dunking their sunglasses and cigarettes in them.

But all is well when the pizzas arrived an hour later (we didn't really mind the lateness as we used to chance in between to continue sampling other beers). The pizzas were absolutely gorgeous. The base were piping hot and crispy enough and the toppings appropriately spicy (which is excellent as it was a chilly evening). I will go as far as to say it's possibly one of the best pizzas we've ever had the pleasure to chomp down (even counting Brixton's lovely Franco Manco).

Between the scowling hipster bartender and indifferent hipster waiter who brought us our pizzas, service should have been a lot quicker, and friendlier. I am willing to excuse that one time because of the unusual circumstances when we visited, but one hour for two pizzas is rather pushing it, even if it was a hella busy day. There's plenty of potential here by the creator of Counter Cafe but they ought to consider brushing up their hospitality skills.

Food: 9/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 4/10

Crate Brewery
The White Building
Hackney Wick
Tube: Hackney Wick

PS: This review was written in September 2012, and I kinda forgot to publish it.

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