Every so often in life two great pairings come along, ones that blow your mind and change the course of life as you know it. Romeo and Juliet. Fred and Ginger. Sonny and Cher. Cheech and Chong. Starsky and Hutch. Turner and Hooch. Christmas and pizza.
Wait, what? That’s right, Christmas and pizza. When I heard that Fire & Stone had a special Christmas pizza on offer that boasted a gravy base with turkey, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and brie on it, I called up the Young & Poor team and demanded that we have our Christmas party there. Christmas pizza?! How could you not be intrigued.
It’s no secret to regular readers that pizza ain’t really my thang, nor are chains, so I’m sure it was just as much a surprise to all of you as it was to me that this was where I wanted our team Christmas dinner to take place. The thing is, sometimes the idea of a pizza is so crazy, so out there, that I can’t help but be intrigued, and Fire & Stone have made that their entire schtick. They don’t do regular pizzas, they do everything but, so on a chilly Tuesday evening off we trekked to the branch in Spitalfields Market, Christmas crackers in tow, for a Christmas party our way.
After sitting down, chatting up the waiters, pulling our crackers and pouring copious glasses of wine we settled down with our starters. Crispy fried calamari and baby mozzarella were the order of the day, they were okay, not amazing, but eh you get what you order. A little on the greasy side but quite crisp. I just wish that fried food didn’t taste so… fried.
At this point I’d like to note that although we were a large party the service was pretty below average. I think the waitresses were more interested in chatting to each other than looking after us, we asked for pitchers of water three times, before Lucy hit her hand on the table with a resounding, “right!” And got up to hunt down a waitress. The music selection, however, was rather good, and the pizzas prompt, even if the drinks weren’t.
First up was the Marrakech. In the interests of trying a variety of different things and getting a full ‘taste’ as it were, we had ordered one of their more interesting pizzas as well as the Christmas pizza. The Marrakech consisted of a mint yoghurt sauce base topped with mozzarella, cumin spiced ground lamb, olives, red onions, mint & cucumber yoghurt, raisins and chilli oil.
It was decent, the red onion was a little too strong for me and I found it a little bit spicy, but it was certainly interesting. The flavours were nice. We’d asked for crispy bases and it was definitely crispy. I also liked the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot of cheese on it, because I think that’s one of my least favourite things about pizza: too much cheese. Blech.
And then came the Christmas pizza.
I took a tentative first bite. Then another. I studied the faces of my friends around me as they did the same, trying to gage their reactions. Lucy summed it up, “iiiinteresting…” But y’know what was really weird?…I kinda liked it. It was like a roast dinner on a really crispy bit of bread. I ate three slices. Richelle hit the nail on the head with, “it’s weird, but it works”. But the others came to a general consensus that whilst it was a good concept they weren’t a massive fan. Why? Too dry, not enough sauce or cheese. Lacked the greasy moistness of pizza.
But I think that’s exactly why I did like it. It wasn’t really pizza and because of that it was a pizza I could get behind. I loved the thin, crispy crust, I loved the dollop of cranberry sauce, I loved the tiny little bits of roast potato (roast potato AND bread?!), I even loved the turkey and I’m not really a turkey fan (too dry, ironically). It was kind of delicious in a way that’s so wrong it’s right.
The entire meal clocked in at around £20/head, including three bottles of white wine between eight of us, which is a little more on the pricey side for pizza, but considering what it was I would say it was well worth it. They also do a Christmas party menu, which comes in at just over £20 for the 2-course menu or just over £27 for the 3-course, but that includes a glass of prosecco and Christmas crackers. More than anything, we had a great time, despite the slightly dodgy service, and I think that’s one of Fire & Stone’s great qualities; it is a place where you feel like you can kick back, relax and do your thang.
I enjoyed it and I’d probably go back for it again. Maybe not this year, I think one Christmas pizza per year is all I can handle, but next year? Eh, why not. It can be my dose of turkey for the year… and maybe my dose of pizza-that’s-not-really-pizza.
So if you’re in London and you’re looking for something a little different for your Christmas party, consider this option. It’s definitely different and it’ll be a great one to discuss with the office the next day: “every so often in life two great pairings come along…”
Fire & Stone
4 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
0844 371 2554
Mon – Sat: 11.30am-11pm
Have you tried Fire & Stone or their Christmas pizza? I’d love to know what you thought! Drop me a comment or an email. Until next time, peace and love.