Eating Out in the Comfort of your Kitchen

We try out the concept that is Clever Wally’s Raw Pizza

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Clever Wallys

Eating out in Chiswick


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Of all the unappetizing names for a food business I could imagine, ‘raw pizza’ comes very close to the top. That, coupled with the thought of actually having to cook a takeaway myself, left me rather skeptical about the whole concept that Clever Wally has conjured up.

Of course it is crucial that Clever Wally’s concept in pizzas is different from the glut of competition on the High Road in order to get even a small slice of the action – and that in itself was worth exploring.

And explore I did with the help of three trusty friends who I’m pleased to report took their Friday evening assignment really rather seriously. The idea is to order your pizzas and accompaniments to be delivered (or collected) raw (I prefer the term uncooked myself) and then bake them at home.

I decided to order for us all as my guests would be coming from a game of football and would be very hungry when they arrived – or at least that’s what I told myself whilst happily salivating over the menu. To start I ordered antipasti (buffalo mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, hummous, rocket and parma ham) and marinated olives.

The decision to order four 12” pizzas as a main course, rather than three 16” ones, was taken with the idea of tasting as much of the menu as possible however, it was far too much even for four hungry adults. Saying that, we managed to polish off an excellent pepperoni and chili, artichoke and red onion and make short work of the crispy bacon and spinach leaving only the margherita and the mixed leaf salad to be finished off by the children the next day. The two real stars emerged during this course were without doubt the artichoke pizza for its delicious originality and the garlic bread for its amazingly light texture and wonderfully potent butter.

We rounded off the meal with a Glu hot chocolate soufflé each accompanied by Ben & Jerry’s finest Cherry Garcia frozen yoghurt.

In summary we unanimously decided that the pizzas were very good even if we did have to cook them ourselves. They were also reasonably good value for money – I ordered far too much food but my guilt was assuaged when the leftovers reheated well to create another meal. Infact the only downside for me was that after such indulgent consumption, I would normally enjoy walking some of it off on the way home. Sadly the short climb up the stairs to bed just wasn’t enough!

I spoke to Gregor Solaski, manager of Clever Wally’s Raw Pizza, to find out more about the business. He explained “All too often delivered pizza's a bit lukewarm and soggy. I figured why not deliver a handmade fresh raw pizza you bake at home, that way it's done how you want it, when you want it. There's a great place doing this in Chicago (my home town), and I thought it would be fun to try it in London.”

He went on to say “Pizzas are fantastic in Italy because the suppliers are almost always just down the road. There's no reason we shouldn't source locally, too. Our free range English chicken, ham and sausage come from a small farm in Warwickshire. The organic flour in our daily dough batch comes from a mill in Gloucestershire. These and the rest of our carefully sourced ingredients make for a singularly tasty, wonderfully fresh pizza in the comfort of your own home.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Emma Brophy

February 27, 2007