I’ve long believed there’s not much which is more comforting than that first bite of a cheese laden pizza skin with all the toppings. A combination of a crisp base but doughy crust (preferably stuffed) and a flavoursome tang of a tomato sauce which compliments the cheese perfectly. If you’re extra lucky, these slices would be washed down with a bottle of beer and the leftovers (unless you’re a pizza eating machine) taken home to be consumed the next morning. Because there’s nothing more fantastic for breakfast than warmed up pizza. Something so simple sounding should be easy to get perfect, right? Wrong. I can’t tell you the number of disappointing pizzas I’ve had.
Aside from the usual chain pizza places, take always (which usually all come topped with tandoori or chicken tikka as standard) and Italian restaurants, I struggle to find a place in Stoke enjoy a slice (or 4) in a setting which doesn’t feature screaming children and all you can eat ice cream.
Klay Pizzeria has opened on what is known as the cultural quarter of the city, on Picadilly which is home to Regent Theatre, a number of independent shops and coffee and cake shop heaven, tsp. Selling wood fired pizzas by the slice or whole along with a selection of beers and wine, it’s an industrial looking but cosy space with friendly staff and has been packed to the rafters since it opened last week.
When a menu boasts mac and cheese… ON A PIZZA you can’t within your right mind turn a blind eye to the pizza genius that must have come up with this menu. The menu here at Klay brings together the old friendly favourites such as Margherita and Pepperoni and couple of interesting picks which will excite the young and hip people of Hanley and surrounding areas. The Sweet Heat is one for the bacon lovers with its combination of spicy sausage, red and green chillis and Maple Bacon and the Benedicto adds a bit more OOMPH to my “pizza is the best breakfast” statement by combining pizza with Eggs Benedict. Yes that’s right ladies and gents, Eggs Benedict on a pizza. Not forgetting the illustrious mac and cheese carbalicious combo.
We made or maiden voyage to Klay prior to seeing Avenue Q at the theatre and even at 6:30pm the place was a buzz with customers. We took a seat at the bar area and were talked through the menu and their unique style of ordering. Their pizza pads feature a menu ticklist, so you simply peruse their wares, tick off your pizza preference including any toppings , drinks or sides and hand it to your server. Voila.
I ordered the Stavros, an 11inch Greek (i can but dream) inspired pizza topped with avocado, red onion, feta cheese, olives, rocket and a balsamic dressing with an added topping of chicken.
As the kitchen area is a feature point of the pizzeria, being able to watch your pizza freshly made, fired in the wood oven and coming out all bubbly and ready for consumption is somewhat of a novelty. If you like your pizza with a side of spicy, there’s a selection of hot sauces to tantalise your tastebuds if you haven’t already stocked up on jalapeños and chillis as topping.
Was it any good? I’ll say so. The words “oh man this is so nice” managed to escape my mouth through the muffled sound of devouring all but one mouthful of pizza. After being washed down with a nice refreshing bottle of Anchor Steam Beer I was all ready for a little lie down, but a small walk across the road to the theatre we went.
Klay offer a number of deals if you’re after a slice rather than a whole pizza including a theatre dining discount when you show your ticket before or on the interval of the show.
I’ll be heading back over the weekend to give that Benedicto a whirl and I may even treat myself to a take out MAC Daddy slice in the name of research.