Sliced pizza that is neither Chicago- nor New York-style

This review is the second among a set of two and a part of the Turned Tables series. You may find the first review in this set on Instagram.

A significant portion of Ireland’s population is severely irked by Americans, so it’s surprising that Bambino managed to change the way Dublin eats pizza. The Roman influence at Mani could be the reason it was welcomed even more warmly, but I’m still glad it’s being spoken about with similar affection. 

If there’s another location in Dublin that compares to Aungier Street’s varied gastronomic offerings, it’s where Mani is. It’s possible to spend an entire afternoon on Drury Street: lunch at Mani, ice cream at Spilt Milk, a couple of leisurely glasses of wine at Loose Canon, and then uncontrolled shopping at Asia Market. I made it a point to visit solely for the pizza, though.

Getting some house wine to sip on while the kitchen prepared our order was a good exercise in patience-building. I was delighted that the slices were ready only around ten minutes later, but bummed that the shelves with suppli alla romana and lasagne fritte had already been wiped clean. 

Mani’s carbonara slice has the most buzz around it than any other on the menu, and so expectations were sky high. I like my base crisp, and it won in that regard, but could’ve done with a minute or two less in the oven. Although there’s only so much bitterness an egg yolk topping can camouflage, I’m certain the slice would be one of the top five in Dublin when cooked the right amount. Until then, Mani’s caio e pepe dip could prove a wise investment (even if a very salty one).

A lengthy fermentation period and the addition of oil to the dough makes Roman-style crusts a lot crisper than Neapolitan ones. This is why Mani’s margherita has a crust that outshines many others, despite being standard in other ways. 

Potato on pizza sounded too exciting to not try, so I got a slice to take away. The box was impressive: a neatly placed slice and two tiny tubs of toppings (sprigs of watercress and a nutty, grainy white sauce I didn’t recognise), with a pamphlet detailing the best way to reheat it. Once the slice crisps in the oven, the accompanying sauce and watercress pacify all fears of it lacking depth and bust the stereotype that vegan must translate to boring. An extra tub of hot chilli and honey makes a kick possible to achieve, too.

It’s disappointing that most popular rom coms only ever represent Neapolitan-style pizza, but I suppose it’s also foolish to think that pop culture could have profundity. Crusts and toppings that feel familiar to those who haven’t travelled across Italy definitely have their place, but it’s also great to experience pizza that refuses to take a page out of Eat Pray Love.

Bill for two 
Glass of red wine€8
Margherita slice€6.50
Carbonara slice€8.50
Potato slice€6.50
Cacio e pepe dip€2
Hot chilli and honey dip€2
42 Drury St
D02 T210