Is it fair to review something when hammered?
The first time I went to Datte Foco I was somewhat refreshed. Not throw-kebabs–at-bus-drivers-argue-with-lampposts hammered, mind you, more take-a-quick-nap-on-living-room-floor-wake-up-at-4am woozy. (Blame the major label penchant for showing off and showering champagne and Shoreditch House’s bottomless well, and the fact there’s always someone worse off than you there – this time it was Crystal Castles having a bust-up with the cigarette machine).
Anyway, on the way home I ordered pizza to stave off the morning’s penance and it tasted pretty revolting – a stodge wodge of cold aubergine smacked in the face with plasticky cheese and a slap in my own visage at £4 for 20-odd centimetres (based on their pricing strategy of pizza by the pound, varying from £1 to £1.90 per 100g). They don’t charge that on Tottenham Court Road, although admittedly they don’t serve their slices of cheesey bread on faux gold platters.
What kind of food tastes better sober?
It’s an odd one, because while my first sample of Datte Foco’s Roman pizza was mediocre enough to cut through Bezlike degrees of drunkenly dulled senses and stupidity, the slices I bought on a more compos mentis second visit were markedly better. Weird, because I thought fast food only ever improved as the units stack up on your helpless liver.
A spicy sausage and spinach slice was more Navona Square than Leicester Square and my half foot of vegetable pizza was an addictive pepper and mushroom pile-up on a crackerbread base. I was stone cold sober and the food a little less stone cold than last time. (To be fair, they reheat the stuff upon order so you could in theory get them to throw it back in for a bit). I noticed a lot more this time too – the staff were laid back and friendly, the exposed brick and wooden furniture homely and comfortable, Stevie Wonder played in the background and they even handed out cutlery to eat the fast food with.
What have we learnt?
That every place deserves more than one visit. That Winehouse’s Law can sometimes work in reverse. That Datte Foco is inconsistent.
Who’d open a pizza restaurant opposite Il Bacio, one of London’s finest, anyway?
Price per head: Less than a fiver
Soundtrack: Chilled vibes and retro soul
Clientele: Post-pubbers and pre-clubbers
Been there? What did you think?