Pizza, ping-pong and precision | PING. Kitchen, Bar & Ping Pong Rooms.
Now what do you think makes the perfect pizza? The toppings? Wrong! The tomato sauce? Getting closer… I’ll put you out of your misery. According to Bruno Elias, pizza guru/scientist/mathematician, at Ping - it’s the dough.
Bruno, a graduate of the Pizza Italian Academy, is an interesting chap that has a passion for pizza that borders on obsession. And what we took away from this masterclass (apart from half a kilo of soft squishy dough that we made) was the amount of time, effort and precision that he’s put in to create this near perfect pizza base.
Like an excited scientist who had just found the secret of eternal life, Bruno talked us through his findings to date… We were bombarded by facts, figures, percentages, weights and temperatures, with a little geography and history thrown in for good measure! There was talk of complex sugars and ingredients measured out to the nearest 0.1g and something about splitting strands and then… And then he lost me!
Here’s a little list of some of the important bits put in very simple terms for all us non pizza guru types…
1) The dough only has 5 ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
2) At Ping they only use ‘honest’ ingredients to make the dough and the tomato sauce. Everything is organic and they try to source from as local as possible.
3) The advantages of ‘biologically and technically’ correct dough are: ease of digestion, no bloating and no raging thirst after eating it.
4) Making the dough is a very tricky and precise procedure… Our top tip, just buy one of Bruno’s pizzas.
That’s all the (pizza) bases covered, lets move on to the toppings. All the pizzas are great value at £9 and topped with simple ingredients with big, bold flavours. The Sicilian (tomato, mozzarella, Sicilian tomatoes and wild rocket) was such a simple pizza but possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had – anywhere!
The Chicken pizza (tomato, mozzarella, pulled chicken breast, Taleggio cheese and parmesan) and Truffled Mozzarella (truffled mozzarella, asparagus and soft egg) are both worth a mention. Loved the sound of the dessert pizzas too, especially the Go nuts!, £5, (Pizza base, homemade banana jam, organic peanut butter & maple gazed bacon) Next time!
What we loved so much about these pizzas was how they kept their heat. Bruno enthusiastically explained that this is because of all the insulating bubbles in the dough and that the pizzas are cooked at a lower temperature and for a longer time than his competitors, allowing the heat in. Talking of which, Bruno has set his sights on getting on the ‘top 10 pizzas in London’ list. And with the amount of skill, drive and passion that he has, I wouldn’t bet against it…
The pizzas at Ping are only the tip of the iceberg. As we were here for Bruno’s masterclass we didn’t really get the chance to experience this Earl’s Court venue in full.
The walls are covered with a mixture of wallpapers that had been ‘decorated’ with street art. The lighting’s low and the atmosphere’s relaxed (except from Thursday through Saturday when the resident DJs turn up the energy levels).
The table tennis room had a real buzz about it, I can only imagine how intense it gets on Tournament Tuesday when there’s a £100 prize up for grabs. Keep an eye on their Facebook page and twitter feeds too as they often hold some crazy special events. Such us the pizza eating comp, it’s free to enter… And the prize, what else, free pizza for life! They even have a barbers (Deano’s #CoolCuts Barber Shop), random!
They don’t just serve the best pizza either. They have some sharing boards, £10, salads, £8 and Focaccia, £9. Ping has a good cocktail list too, with a couple of hard shakes and their famous Alcoholic Ping Slushy - a frozen blend of either a Daiquiri or Margarita made daily in a custom-made slushy machine.
There’s not much more to say… If you like playing ping pong, go to Ping. If you like a decent cocktail list, go to Ping. Most importantly, if you like pizza then GO to Ping because you’ll be hard pressed to beat Bruno’s.
180-184 Earl’s Court Road.
London SW5 9QG
Mon – Wed 18:00 – 23:00
Thur – Sat 18:00 – 02:00
Sun – Coming Soon!
Nearest tube Earls Court