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Lunch on the Run: Stone – Kingston upon Thames

September 12, 2011

Pizza Funghi at Stone

The Single Gourmet Traveller is very creative when it comes to finding excuses for a foodie treat. However, after a visit to the dentist and hygienist at midday it didn’t test my creative juices too much to decide I deserved a treat on the way home – even though Suresh and Daisy at Dentease are the nicest of dentists and hygienists and seeing them is almost something to be looked forward to!

Kingston is full of fast-food places and all the usual chains of coffee houses – but although I didn’t want to spend a lot, I wanted something more exciting than a sandwich. I remembered years ago there being an Italian pizzeria with ‘Rome’ in the name in a small road behind Clarence Street and I decided to take a walk along Fife Road. There is now another pizzeria in the same place – Stone, with a traditional wood-fired oven – and seeing it served a lunchtime deal of one course and soft drink for £6.95 I decided to give it a go.

The waitress was really friendly as I settled down and ordered a Pizza Funghi and bottle of sparkling water. There were three pizzas to choose from and some pastas – also, for £8.95 there were more choices but I thought I’d stick with the basic cheap deal.  A nicely chilled small bottle of Highland Spring was soon before me and a few minutes later a delicious pizza (the one in the photo above).  I was offered black pepper and chilli oil, which they left for me to help myself. The pizza was very good – a bit too big for me to finish for a quick lunch – and I ended the meal with an espresso, which added another £1.70 to the bill. As I paid one of the chefs, Nico, came and asked if I’d enjoyed it and we talked about Sicily – where he comes from – and Rome for a while.

I came away with change from £10 having had a really nice lunch – made all the better for the friendliness of the Italian staff. It would have been easy to spend that much for a takeaway sandwich and drink in one of the ubiquitous chains … and lunch wouldn’t have been nearly so nice and such a treat as it was in Stone.  Must go back to try something a little more substantial in the evening, perhaps from the daily specials.

For update on Stone (8 Aug 2012) see Stone Revisited.

From → Cafes, Places to Eat

  1. Sarah Mc permalink

    I have never eaten in the restaurant itself. But chose rather bravely to order take-out, as my first experience. The service, timeliness and delivery could not be faulted. However, the food quality and price could be. I ordered penne arrabiata and mixed side salad. A real favourite of mine and in my experience an easy dish that many restaurants get very wrong. My first clue that this was a mistake should have been the misspelling on the menu. The  pasta arrived hot, the salad cold, both in separate bags. Which was a good start. Although that is where the good news ended for the pasta dish. Perhaps not helped by the plastic delivery container, the pasta was over cooked. And relatively tasteless, for what should have been a highly flavoured dish. Instead of the bright red of fresh tomatoes the sauce was darker in colour and duller in flavour. The chillies used within the recipe were green, if the slices within the dish were representative. It tasted like a supermarket ready meal or a dish created using a jar of sauce. It certainly did not taste freshly prepared. The salad was as described and contained large green and black good quality olives. The price however was a joke. Nearing £6 for some salad leaves, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion slices with no dressing. A comparison on price and quality would be Jamie’s Italian, a restaurant I regularly eat-in. Here the Arrabiata is not only spelt correctly on the menu but tastes fresh and flavoursome. The bright red sauce coats the individual pasta pieces. Unlike at Stone’s where the pasta and sauce congeal into clumps. The pasta is priced some 50p higher but the side salad prices start from half the cost of Stone’s. And let’s not forget that Jamie’s prices are for eating-in, whereas Stone’s are for take-away. May I suggest the chef and/or proprietor visit Jamie’s and experience the difference themselves. The best bit of this meal was it was delivered. The worst, that I had to eat it…

    • Sorry that was your experience. I went some months ago and thought the lunchtime deal was good and the pizza I had was good too … and all well priced. Maybe it’s changed? I have to say I think Jamie’s Italian has gone off since they opened up … are very expensive for what they are and I’d rather go to a Strada … but eating out is often a personal thing! Thanks anyway for passing on your experience. It’s always good to have feedback as my reviews are often based on one visit.

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  1. Stone Revisited « thesinglegourmetandtraveller

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