I love pizza, especially well made artisan pizza, so when I got an invite to the opening of Camden Eye Pizza, a 50 capacity area above the main Camden Eye pub I was happy to go along. The venue is easy to find – it is literally opposite Camden Tube Station. The pizzaria is upstairs from the pub area, meaning you can look out from the windows at the bustle in the streets below whilst eating if you want to.
The invite said they would be offering pizzas cooked on site in a wood fired oven, set up by the award winning Mahdis Neghabian, who is also manager of The Camden Eye pub.
Manager Mahdis Neghabian joined Camden Eye in 2006. She has since completely turned the pub around, bringing her creative ideas, including poetry reading, life drawing classes, theatre groups and film nights, as well as working hard to secure investment for the building as well as introducing DJs two nights a week and transforming the lounge area with a redesign. Talking to her about her achievements, she is full of ideas that enhance the Camden Eye for its customers, and offers them a great experience every visit.
The Camden Eye already produces good food on the ground floor, including some of the best fish and chips around, so you may wonder why make any additions. She explained how she had seen a gap in the market to produce top quality, best in the world pizza, and how to then be able to best present it in its own dining area. Hence the Camden Eye Pizza was born.
The wood burning oven adds a real flavour to the pizzas, making them taste much more like they would in an Italian village pizzaria than anything you may get in a regular UK pizza place. Mahdis Neghabian explained how difficult it had been to set it up, but that it was central to her vision of producing something unique and best. The pizza chefs have been trained by Francesco Santocono, world champion pizza maker 2008, so they know how to get the best from the traditional ingredients as well as the wood oven.
All the pizzas are £10 and include many with artistic led names, reflecting their creation by the Camden Eye team, including:
Say Aloha To My Hawaiian Friend (tomato, mozzarella, ham and pineapple);
How To Impress Angelina Jolie (tomato, mozzarella, crushed black olives, goat cheese, walnuts and caramelised onions);
O Sole Mio (tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, capers and black olives);
Morrissey (tomato, mozzarella, zucchini and parmigiano);
Peter’s Hoisin Duck (tomato, roasted duck, spring onions, mozzarella and hoisin sauce)
Pizza al Taglio (sharing pizza pieces).
Samples of each were being made for the launch event, and they dissappeared as fast as they came out. Everyone was happy, and the neverending supply of good wine kept everything flowing smoothly.
And on the point of wine, the wine list was good with almost all wines by the bottle between £12 and £25, as well as a great selection of wines by the glass. This would allow you to have a good lunch at the Camden Eye Pizza without having to buy a whole bottle. Special wines were put on a board by the tables, chalked up daily.
The two cheery waitresses clearly enjoyed the sucess of the launch, and were always on have with more slices of pizza and glasses of wine.
Mahdis Neghabian (on the right in the picture below) won the prestigious accolade of 2012 BII Licensee of the Year in June 2012. Looking at the smiles on both her customers and staff, it is easy to see why.
I wish her every success, and look forward to going back when I can get a whole pizza to myself.
The Camden Eye
2 Kentish Town Road
020 7267 2622