I’m pretty sure your suspicions are correct and the bases are all pre-made. They are bland as hell too.
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Fire and Stone
Covent Garden, London
69 reviews of Fire and Stone in English
As an aside it's a bit funky, and there's good people watching. It seems that everyone is on a date there, and it's interesting to see the interactions. Maybe go if that's your thing, but don't get your hopes up about the pizza. I understand the pasta isn't too bad, but the guy who had it was still hungry after.
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The greek salad was fresh and tasty. The service is quick but it can be hard to get your waiters attention. All in all though, damn good pizza!
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Best Pizza Ever - although only marginally pipping Pizza Express at the post due to the unique and delightful toppings and combinations thereof. It looks kind of daunting at first, because it's really buzzing and funky looking and I can't say the service is friendly or unfriendly - it just is. But it's definitely not expensive and I usually get two pizzas so that I can take one back to deepest Margate with me. The best one was called Austrian or something but I don't think they do that one anymore. It was awesome and the only known occurrence of my daughters bf and I agreeing on something 〠‿─
However, for a place that boasts unique and curiously flavoured pizzas as its specialty, the pizza I had was, I kid you not, the worst pizza I have ever had. This may sound like an exaggeration, but it's true (the honour previously belonged to a pizza takeway I once ordered from in Bruges). To put it in perspective: a Sainsbury's Basics £1 pizza is much tastier than Fire and Stone's offerings.
I was with 10 friends and between us we tried about five different varieties of pizza. Despite everyone proclaiming at the beginning of the meal how hungry they were, only 2 of us finished the entire pizza (and it wasn't humongous or anything), with the rest of us averaging only about half. I noticed that most of us generously poured salt, pepper, hot sauce and even oil over our pizza to make it taste like something.
I ordered the New York, which supposedly has roast potatoes, crispy bacon, sour cream, smoked paprika and caramelised onion jam. The toppings looked very nondescript, and I could not at all taste either the bacon, potatoes or paprika. The caramelised onion jam overpowered everything (and let's face it, it comes from a jar), while the base had absolutely no flavour: it was clearly cooked without any salt.
I also tried my friend's Canberra pizza, which supposedly has roast chicken, garlic potatoes, marinated mushrooms, tomato sauce and chives. It mainly tasted like mozzarella and unsalted tomato sauce; the only topping I could really discern was chicken chunks that were not spiced with anything and did not taste freshly roasted.
I'm all for unconventional pizza toppings, but please, presentation and flavour count. These pizzas looked like wilted flowers, and lacked any flavour or freshness. It was very disappointing. If you go to the Fire and Stone website, it gives the impression that the pizzas will knock you off your feet.
I will give the place 2 out of 5 stars instead of just one because the starters (either a platter of delicious coldcuts and breadsticks with vinagrette sauce, or a platter of hummus, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and dolmayas) were pretty good, as was the dessert (a soft, warm brownie with vanilla ice cream).
There are more Pizza Express, Strada and Ask restaurants in London than you can shake a stick at, and Fire and Stone is a wonderful alternative to them. The pizzas are fresh and delicious (the toppings will be like none you’ve seen before) and the service is pretty good. As with most restaurants, the markup on drinks is a little eye-watering, but the food is extremely competitively priced.
The one unfortunate drawback is that it’s regularly offered on the “theatre and dinner” deals favoured by websites such as lastminute.com, so getting a table without a reservation can be next to impossible at peak times. When the restaurant gets busy it’s also pretty loud (although nothing compared to the cacophony of a Pizza Express).
The key with Fire & Stone is that if you’re intending to go there around a traditional mealtime, for heaven’s sake make a booking first. It’s usually pretty busy, and the ad-hoc booking arrangement when you get there is a little confusing (and has lost many customers to the adjacent GBK).
Once you’re in though, you’ll learn the art of originality in the pizza medium. Whilst pizza joints using high-quality fresh ingredients aren’t exactly hard to come by in London nowadays, few exhibit the raw creativity that Fire & Stone demonstrate.
There’s a real joy in ordering something which you don’t normally find on a pizza, and is exactly why the Bombay (tandoori marinated chicken, yoghurt, broccoli, red onion, mango chutney, and so on), the Peking (hoi sin duck, cucumber, spring onions), Jakarta (satay chicken, aubergine, red chilli, tomato chutney) and Melbourne (brie, butternut, red onion, pumpkin seeds) are such amazing taste experiences. Personally I’d advise against the more traditional-looking pizzas, because you’ll just find yourself silently cursing that you hadn’t asked for the duck one after all.
And also – buy the grilled bruschetta. Not negotiable.
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We booked a table at Fire and Stone for a lunch at a hen do in London. Having been there before on a theatre and dinner deal, I had fond memories of the peking duck pizza.
The restaurant itself was great, with plenty of menu choice, friendly staff and fast service. The meal was pretty good too. The deep fried mozzarella balls were a little too juicy for my liking, but my pizza was lovely. Everyone struggled to eat both their starters and pizzas, so it might be worth sticking to just a main meal unless you’re really hungry.
A nice alternative to all the Pizza Express and Pizza Hut chains.
I Love Fire & Stone! Great value Pizzas, cool atmosphere, good service and no kids on a Saturday afternoon in Central London during the summer!
Great location just off of Covent Garden so good for a quick bite before/after the theatre. The best thing is the choice and imaginative flavours of the Pizzas, each one is named after a different city, the London is more like a full English on a Pizza.
I ate here with friends on Saturday evening, and having had pizza the night before I opted for pasta – I’m so glad I did as it was delicious! Not to say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed one of their wide range of pizzas from a rather exotic menu, but I have to admit I prefer a more traditional Italian pizza.
For starters I opted for the Aegean board, which was a large pile of grilled flatbreads served with huge dollops of black olive tapenade, red pepper & feta dip and tzatziki, all of which were really tasty. My friends opted for the crispy wonton king prawns which went down very well, and the bruschetta topped with parma ham and plenty of melted brie which was one of the highlights of the meal I think!!
For main course I ordered the spaghetti primavera with chicken, it came with loads of chicken, lovely crispy green veg (sugar snaps, broccoli, peas, courgettes and broad beans) and the parmesan and double cream sauce wasn’t too heavy or sickly either. Our party also ordered the smoked bacon and mushroom penne which was tasty but slightly lacking in bacon.
I’ll definitely be visiting again – I want more of their delicious spaghetti primavera!!
Great place! I was there two weeks ago, and it was so fantastic. At the “Covent Garden” tube station a men gave me a leaflet with fire and stone advertisement: 2 pizza for 10 pound…. very cheap! My girlfriend ordered some noodles with mushrooms. She said: “the best I’ve ever had”
And the Woman, who seated us was so amazing beautiful! I was not able to look somewhere else :-)
This place is brilliant!!!!
Wow! What an ingenious idea, taking inspiration from cities and countries to create pizza toppings. You'd never think that the 'Peking' - essentially crispy duck and all of the trimmings on a pizza - would work, but for some strange reason it does. All of the toppings are, for want of a better word, weird. The 'London' - a full English breakfast on a pizza, the 'Acapulco' - nachos, but on a pizza.
The main problem with all of the pizzas on their menu (or at least the ones that I have tried) is that they work. And they taste fantastic. Once you get over the fact that your meal is a pizza with a curry on top and just taste how good it is, you realise how clever these Fire & Stone chappies are.
If you are looking for an authentic Italian pizza, you probably won't like this place. However, if you're looking for fun and good tasting grub, in a slightly quirky restaurant then you'll love it. The service is pretty good, it can be a bit slow but once they get to you they'll make sure you're happy.
They make great cocktails, and their wine selection has a good price range to it.
Overall a good meal out with friends or family and definitely one to try at least once. If you're not too sure which pizza you fancy, why not order a different one each and share them round. Best of every world, and a fun quirky world it is!
I went here for the first time last night and although it's good value for money and the location is great, I wasn't mad about the food or the service.
We had a two pizzas for £10 offer, which was a great deal considering several of the pizzas were £8/9 each. As plenty of people have said, Fire and Stone specialise in pizzas with weird and wonderful topping combinations. I went for an Acapulco pizza, which had chilli beef, green chillis, mozzarella and sour cream and guacamole. It wasn't bad (and was served promptly) but would have been loads better if there had been tomato sauce as described on the menu - there was a little bit round the edges but that was all. The pizzas all look suspiciously uniform, so I was left wondering if the bases were actually fresh or pre-made. My friend and I also shared a chocolate brownie with ice cream, which was lovely.
We had a bit of a problem with getting the bill and then the till ran out of change, which almost made us late for the show we were going to see. I would recommend Fire and Stone as a cheap place to pop into if you have a special offer and fancy trying pizza with a twist, but don't expect anything amazing or you might be disappointed.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Nuria, 20 May 2012:
I think this is one of those hidden gems in Covent Garden. Somewhere that is Stylish, well laid out, Roomy (rare for Covent Garden) and good value! Have been plenty of times now and it doesnt disappoint. The Gourmet pizzas I think are different and interesting. Only thing that lets it down sometimes is the Service which can be a bit strange.
The pizza bases were nice and the flavour combinations interesting and a refreshing change from the normal bland pizza types. The pizza I ordered had way too much sweet chilli sauce on it though which was disappointing. The service was ok - we didn't book and got a table quickly, but the room was incredibly noisy and we were unable to hear each other without yelling. Ok for a quick meal but I can make better pizza myself.
If you are a fan of plain pizza - don't go there!
I just LOVE the pizza varieties there.
I've travelled from Europe to Australia and Asia and need yet to explore Asia and the USA.
My favourite pizza is "Peking" with slices of cucumber and roasted duck.
I have never seen such variety on pizza before and I'm looking forward to trying out many more pizza cities there.
I went to the Fire & Stone for a meal on a hen night. There were 16 of us and the waitress made us feel really welcome. The restaurant is roomy and inviting and has sturdy chairs, which is great when you are on the larger side. We had a three course set menu for £14.95 which I thought was fantastic value for money. Starter was breadsticks with dips and olives. I had the Canberra pizza which I thoroughly enjoyed. Dessert was ice-cream which was rich and refreshing. We had a fab night and I would definitely go back again when next in the area.
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