Lunchtime for me is more of a brunch-time experience. This is always for the simple fact that when I wake up, I have a choice: eat breakfast or be on time. This means that by midday my stomach is growling at me and I’m on total caffeine overload. On an average day, I’ll run to a supermarket and grab a ‘meal deal’ – though I can’t really say that these are really meals or deals. So, I head over to My Slice on Cranbourne Street one afternoon to banish my unremitting tummy rumblings. Having heard some pretty fantastic things about their pop up bar in local independent supermarket How It Should Be, I think to myself that a slice (or two) of ‘la pizza di Roma’ would make the perfect afternoon meal.
Rocking up on a warm, sunny afternoon, my colleague and I miss the lunchtime rush so are served straight away by owner Julian. Friendly staff and a clean, inviting atmosphere greet us; the reclaimed timber interior and subtle bursts of colour complement the rustic style of the cuisine. Laid out on a polished wooden bar, there’s the choice of six or so toppings and some treats (including particularly good looking brownies) tempting us just by the till. We refrain and order drinks and slices from inside, taking a table out the front of the eatery – a prime people-watching spot. There’s also the option to pull up a stool in the window too for those less than stunning days. We sip our drinks – elderflower cordials (£1.20) – and refresh ourselves as we watch the world go by. Before we know it our three slices appear in front of us. Beautifully presented, we tuck in to our first choice. We go for a classic margherita (£2.30 take away or £2.60 eat in), just to make sure the basics are covered. I can say with confidence that they’ve nailed our first test. The base is thin and crispy, just the way I like it. With a good amount of mozzarella cheese, the sweet tomato covering the base is balanced perfectly with a small amount of basil, really accentuating the flavours.
We happily approve and move on to the next. A ham and mushroom slice this time (£2.70 take away, £3 eat in) with no tomato sauce lets the generous amount of mushrooms take the forefront of flavour. Having now had a slice each (sharing is caring, after all) I’m feeling pretty comfortable. One slice, starting from 125 calories, proves to be a great daytime snack for both sating hunger and maintaining waistlines. I don’t care too much for the latter so onto slice numero tre, and its aptly named ‘red and yellow’ (£2.70 take away, £3 eat in). Consisting of fresh tomatoes of the stated colours, it’s a great light option as the freshness of the fruit punctuates the cheese.
The authenticity of the bases transports me back to Italy and I’m impressed to say the least. I’m told that in fact they are made in Rome and immediately blast-frozen to maintain their superior taste and texture. The team then finish the pizzas off with toppings and the rest of the cook in-house so My Slice really does encompass the best of Italy and Brighton. Julian has ensured that he is catering for every Brightonian with vegetarian and vegan options. A gluten free option is also available though as they are prepared within an environment using wheat. The normal bases have a low flour content keeping the slices light, unlike the stodgy American-style pizzas available from so many outlets. Good riddance to the vapid deep-dish, I say, My Slice is here to stay.
My Slice, 15 Cranbourne Street, Brighton, BN1 2RD
Words by Freya Hughes