Cal’s Own, Heaton: Review
Cal’s Own: Restaurant Review
207 Chillingham Road, Heaton (0191 2765298). Meal for two £20-£30
Many bad things have been done with mediocre ingredients in the name of pizza in the North East’s Italian restuarants. Well intentioned but bland nonetheless, I’ve had any amount of soggy or undercooked bases, sugary sweet tomato sauces and tasteless plastic mozzarella.
So on a cold November night, sitting in the small but warm and buzzing Cal’s Own, I find myself very happy indeed. It’s a basic, no nonsense dining area with about 8 tables adjacent to the sizeable open plan kitchen area and huge pizza oven that I’m sure also negates the need for central heating in the rest of the building! They don’t sell alcohol so it’s a take your own affair for a £1 corkage charge and reassuringly, it’s a small menu with 5 options, a couple of specials and a few desserts.
The pizzas are simply superb – well made and using the best ingredients. It’s a simple formula really but one that is applied and executed with real flair. The dough, after being hand stretched is cooked – perhaps most importantly – in a screamingly hot oven, giving their pizzas an authentic, chewy texture with a slightly burnished note and those bubbles and bumps in the dough that indicate its been done as it should be.
I went for the 14” Vera Pizza Margherita (£11.00) – the classic toppings brought to life with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, this is pizza how it should be, each ingredient there for a reason and playing its part.
We rounded things off with a hearty wedge of home made baked vanilla cheese cake which was rich, sweet and full of subtle vanilla, one portion more than enough to share between two and decent value for the serving size at £5.00.