There’s very little that Kilburn and Naples share in common. Their names do both have the letter ‘N’ in them, and they both seem to have a lot of phone accessory shops. That’s all we could think of. But now there’s something else, and it’s far more exciting than the letter ‘N’ or a cool new leather case for your iPhone. The acclaimed Trianon Vomero, a traditional Napoli-based pizzeria with famously long lines and a reputation with the locals, have opened their second establishment. And it’s in Kilburn.
For their new restaurant, Quartieri, the Tiranon Vomero team brought over their century-old-recipes and a very expensive oven all the way from Italy. These are things that typically get us excited. But with Franco Manca just down the road and L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele recently making a similar move from Naples to London, Quartieri and the owner Tony (yes, Tony) have some serious competition. You’ll forgive us then, for initially having been a little apprehensive about this restaurant’s prospects. Kilburn needs this. We all need this.
Our apprehension, however, was unfounded, because Quartieri is packed, and it’s easy to see why. The pizza is brilliant. The crust is a bit thicker than most traditional Napoli pizzas, and there’s far more variation as far as toppings go than most Neapolitan pizzerias, even in London. The tomato sauce is perfect and fresh, thanks to produce flown in from Italy twice a week. It’s also affordable and fast - the 500 degree oven cooks a pizza in under a minute. You could eat five of these before Pizza Express have got their dough out of the fridge. We’re not saying you should. But you could.
It’s not just the pizzas that taste fantastic though - there are some brilliant sides on Quartieri’s menu and an ever-changing specials list that you should pay attention to when you visit. Tony tells us there’s even a ‘gelato calzone’ coming soon, which we’re definitely going to try that ‘eat five of these’ thing with as well.
There’s a really relaxed family vibe at Quartieri with an added air of class that makes it as friendly to a quick lunch as it is to a full red wine sit down. We’re delighted they’ve taken a gamble in Kilburn and you should make it your mission to try it out, and get to see their handbuilt, fifth generation pizza oven in the process. You’ll find Mr Manca just down the road, cowering behind his inadequately sized oven.
This array of fried Neapolitan delights are a must-order. The arancini is wrapped in a light crispy batter, with a hearty filling of mashed potato and mushrooms. We aren’t entirely sure how to pronounce the others, but MAMMA MIA. The zeppole, a deep fried dough ball rolled in turmeric, was bread at first. Seconds later it was cake. Then it was bread again, and then it was cake. The Gluten Award 2017 goes to…
Spicy salami and chilli warm the bits you only get to see in the shower. We’d have had this pizza tattooed on our face if the chef wasn’t so busy. You absolutely must eat this.
Sounds like a Lamborghini test driver, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s a white pizza topped with an Italian paesane sausage and spinach. The olive oil is fantastic and the sausage is seasoned within an inch of its life. The spinach is a little overdone but this thing’s good enough that we don’t mind.
The cheese is too thick and the whole thing feels a little gratuitous. The shavings of ham do balance this out nicely, but we wouldn’t fill up on this one as there’s plenty more dough to wrap your lips around.
Deep fried pizza crust sprinkled with sugar and a homemade hazelnut chocolate sauce and fresh mint. It’s pretty much Italian churros, and it’s a killer dessert. Ours was gone in minutes. Get two. Hide one.