The Italians know how to throw a party. Masaniello was opening its new branch in Surbiton this evening and an invitation to regulars and locals went out to join the party. I arrived soon after 6pm when it was due to begin and it was fairly quiet, but a warm welcome from owner/head chef Livio Te, waiter John who I recognised from Twickenham, and I immediately felt at home. Soon I had a glass of prosecco in my hand and was talking to other guests: friends, family, Twickenham regulars, Surbiton locals who’d passed the restaurant in the day when all was being prepared and were invited to come back later for the party. The restaurant started filling up fast and within a short space of time was full to the brim with happy people celebrating the opening of this new Italian restaurant.
The new pizza oven was going full blast at the back, getting ready to bake some of Masaniello’s wonderful pizza. Livio comes from Naples; his family ran a pizzeria there so he definitely knows just what a good Napoli pizza should be.
Meanwhile other foods came out to nibble on: arancini, bruschetta, calamari. Glasses were topped up with prosecco, wine, Aperol spritz. Children were given balloons.
Livio welcomed everyone; the live music began, a singer with a great voice.
The party was in full flow. By now the pizziaolo was busy with the pizza dough, pulling it into shape, adding the toppings, sliding it on to a pizza paddle and straight into the hot oven.
It was great to watch it rise so quickly in the oven, puffing up beautifully. Within seconds it seemed, it was ready. Then straight on to waiting plates, a quick cutting into triangular pieces, and people were reaching out and helping themselves to what I consider some of the best pizza in London.
It really was superb. Wonderfully light, the dough had a fantastic flavour.
For now Masaniello Surbiton will be open for breakfast, coffee and lunch – from 8.00am to 5.00pm. But the plan is that in two or three weeks’ time it will it stay open into the evening offering a more extensive menu. There’s also a private dining room downstairs. You’ll find it at 115 Ewell Road, Surbiton KT6 6AL, Tel: 020 8399 8336.
Masaniello Twickenham is one of my favourite restaurants: fantastic food at reasonable prices, consistent quality, with great and wonderfully friendly service. I wish them success in Surbiton and I hope the people of Surbiton soon discover what fantastic Italian food has come to town.