Last week saw the launch of a brand-new takeaway, The Slice, a little sister to beloved Bath pizzeria The Oven. And in a shock twist that will surprise literally no one who’s actually been to The Oven, The Slice is absolutely brilliant.
Squeezed into a pocket-sized space behind a sunny yellow frontage, on the corner where Milsom St starts to curve, The Slice is a mostly-takeaway joint (in good weather it has two tiny tables out front) serving pizza by the slice, fritti (delicious fried things like arancini), lasagne and parmigiana. It’s basically an instant Italian comfort food station, here to save your lunchtimes from soggy sandwiches.
|The Slice is small but perfectly formed, with a funky yellow frontage and stylish details inside|
Fabrizio, the head chef behind The Oven’s scrumptious pizzas, is keen that The Slice be an authentic takeaway in the style of his hometown, Rome. The food on offer is uncomplicated but packed with fresh ingredients and flavours, perfect for a quick pick-me-up. And it’s not just about lunchtime either – you can also order a whole pizza to take home for dinner. Although we Brits are used to going to Italian restaurants and each having our own pizza, Fabrizio explains that The Slice’s pizzas (which, by the way, are baked on a rectangular tray and significantly bigger than your usual plate-sized circle) are intended for sharing in a group, like an Italian family would. You can nab one of these beauties for £25 and each one cuts into 12 good-sized slices, so it’s perfect for feeding a crowd.
Enough about the concept – I know you want the dish on the food itself. I sauntered down on a sunny Friday lunchtime (the perfect time to treat yourself) and tried their lunch offer, which consists of a slice of pizza, an item from the fritti menu, and a drink, all for a decidedly reasonable £5 (you can of course buy all the food on offer individually, as well). There were six or so different pizzas to choose from but I couldn’t resist the Italia, with pesto, fresh cherry tomatoes, and creamy, melt-in-the-mouth buffalo mozzarella – all the flavours of summer in one mouthful. For me the true test of a pizza is whether I want to eat my crusts – if they’re just so-so I’ll save room for dessert, but in this case I scoffed every crumb. I could have eaten the crispy, chewy, savoury crust all by itself with no toppings, so you know this is seriously good pizza.
|Arancini with a melting mozzarella centre|
To go with it, I chose a meat arancini – golden saffron rice with bolognese and melted mozzarella in the middle, and a fabulously crispy crust on the outside. It’s so easy to get arancini wrong – they can be too dry or too soggy, or taste only of ‘fried’ – but this was utterly gorgeous.
I washed it all down with an ice-cold can of lemon San Pellegrino (always the flavour of Italian holidays for me, back when you didn’t really get it in the UK) and sat in the glorious sunshine outside, eating my lunch very slowly to make it last (the more I like something, the slower I eat it, because I don’t want to finish). I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite between the pizza and the arancini, so it’s just as well that for a mere fiver, you don’t have to – and I can’t wait to revisit and try the rest of the menu.
|All this for a fiver is a serious bargain|
For anyone who’s escaping the office, refuelling mid-shopping-trip, getting a pick-me-up to last til dinner or grabbing an Italian picnic to take to the park, I predict that The Slice is going to be outstandingly popular. I’ll definitely be back.