Style over substance? Our review of Pizza Punks in Newcastle
Pizza Punks certainly looks the part, but is it a head banger of a restaurant?
In the age of Instagram, this year-old addition to Grey Street has been designed with social media in mind. Think neon signs, exposed brick walls and pipes, graffiti, chevron motifs and stripped back seating. You get the gist. It even has its own merchandise if you love their edgy branding so much you want to walk around in it.
It’s a great-looking spot for an informal meal and there’s plenty of space for families and large groups.
I’m not sure the Sex Pistols will be reforming anytime soon for a group outing here, instead the anarchy at Pizza Punks is limited to the menu where you can design your own pizza with a range of unlimited toppings for a set fee of £11.
Pre-pizza there’s a range of starters from which to choose. Between our group of six we ordered two sharing platters (£8 each platter) and a couple of mac ‘n’ cheeses (£4.50 each).
Staff were welcoming and friendly and our platters arrived fairly promptly but we felt pretty punked by the starters. The ‘platters’ were regular dinner plates with far from enough to share. The meat version came with two small pieces of prosciutto, two small bits of mozzarella which barely touched the sides, olives, sun dried tomatoes, more rocket than was necessary and some flatbread.
It didn’t taste bad, but we found it a little underwhelming considering the standard of sharing platters you can get elsewhere in Newcastle.
The veggie version was also a bit forgettable with exactly the same ingredients, except the prosciutto was substituted for some sriracha and maple roasted cauliflower. The cauli was good, but could have done with the spice being cranked up.
We fared better with the mac ‘n’ cheese, however, which was gloriously unctuous and better priced. More of that please.
We hadn’t finished struggling to divide the platters fairly when our pizzas arrived leading to a flurry of plate shuffling to fit it all on the table. They’re a much more creative affair than the starters with topping choices such as black pudding, chipotle and chocolate, candied bacon, haggis, brown ale beef brisket and garlic and rosemary potatoes. Toppings – which have an equal balance of veggie and meat options – are unlimited too so you can really let loose.
I was feeling less adventurous than my friends and ordered ham, artichoke, olives and egg as my toppings of choice on a tomato base, with white and BBQ bases also available, as well as a gluten-free choice for an extra quid.
The egg was nowhere to be seen but as I hadn’t paid any extra for it I didn’t bother quibbling. The pizza, which was hand stretched just yards away in the open plan kitchen area, was good and the sourdough base a satisfying balance of chewy and crispy but I’ve had better versions at Central pizza opposite the station.
With all the hype and styling, I’d expected some kind of pizza revelation, but Pizza Punks proved more of a damp squib.