Basilico Delivers

Epicure Digital Marketing Reviews London's Gourmet Pizza Brand Basilico

British pizza lovers have become spoilt of late. Whether you are in the mood for a grease-fest or a gourmet feast, delivery options have become so sophisticated that you can get food – even Michelin-starred food - delivered right to your door. But this phenomenon is fairly new – back in the late nineties, takeaway pizza meant a pre-made margarita warmed up in the microwave.

Enter Basilico.

 Basilico London's Gourmet Pizza Delivery

When it first opened in 1998, Basilico was the only wood-fired, high-quality pizza delivery around, and the only pizza delivery company at all to get a red star in the Time Out Eating Out guide. Since then restaurants and food delivery services have caught up with Basilico’s original innovation, which makes one wonder whether the unique selling point of delivering delicious, fresh, wood-fired pizza offers Londoners anything truly special? We decided to try for ourselves.

To get fully to grips with Basilico’s offering, we opted for two new additions (one of which looked very quirky indeed), one classic, and one which catered for the strictest of dietary requirements. Before beginning, we set out our criteria for what makes a great pizza – quality of ingredients, how well cooked everything was, flavour combinations, uniqueness, and – this being classic Roman pizza – how crispy the base was.

 Basilico's Pizza Nera

The Vegetarian

First up, The Vegetarian, which we got vegan-style with lactose-free cheese and a gluten-free base. This comes with roasted aubergine, courgette, red peppers, red onions, fresh tomatoes and basil and earned an immediate thumbs-up from our resident intolerant eater. Despite being gluten-free, the base was crispy and every individual vegetable was perfectly cooked – no mean feat when you consider this was done in a wood-fired oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Vegetarians normally get the short straw when it comes to toppings, so we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and thoughtfulness of Basilico’s veggie offering.

Crispiness – 8/10

Quality of Ingredients – 10/10

How well cooked – 10/10 (onions had bite, aubergine was perfectly soft and not stringy. Spot on)

Flavour Combinations – 10/10 (Use of herbs was particularly successful)

Uniqueness – 8/10 (As vegetarian pizzas go, fairly original)

 The Vegetarian at Basilico

The Capricciosa

Next was our classic choice, The Capricciosa, which came with fresh asparagus, prosciutto crudo, free-range egg, shaved parmesan, and top-quality fior di latte mozzarella. It is said that you cannot go wrong with classic flavour combinations, but that is not always true. If handled inexpertly, what should be classic ends up dull and disappointing. Thankfully, this was not the case here. The asparagus was flavourful and al dente, the ham so thin it was almost melting, and the egg added an excellent richness to the whole thing.

Crispiness – 9/10

Quality of Ingredients – 8/10

How well cooked – 10/10

Flavour Combinations – 9/10 (This would have been a 10 with just a touch more sauce)

Uniqueness – 7/10

 The Capricciosa at Basilico

Pizza Zucca

Having recently enjoyed a pretty fabulous dinner at restaurant “La Zucca” in Venice, I was intrigued by one of Basilico’s new additions - Pizza Zucca. Roasted butternut squash, crispy pancetta, crumbled roasted chorizo, smoked chicken, fior di latte mozzarella… it was like all my favourite things in one. It seemed like fate. And it was certainly the right choice, the butternut squash was sweet, the pancetta salty, the chorizo spicy, the whole thing warming and wonderful and indulgent without feeling even remotely greasy or guilt-inducing.

Crispiness – 9/10

Quality of Ingredients – 10/10 (the chorizo gets a particular A+)

How well cooked – 10/10

Flavour Combinations – 10/10 (If I could give this an 11, I would)

Uniqueness – 9/10

 Zucca Pizza at Basilico

Pizza Nera

Our final choice was the most unusual, Basilico’s new Pizza Nera. The first thing that will strike you is that it is…black. Topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, roasted yellow peppers, wild boar salami, punto di coltello, sundried tomatoes and rocket, this black dough pizza is certainly a shock to the eye. That said, the dark base made the colourful ingredients seem even more vibrant, and the first bite reassured me there was nothing untoward about the dramatic-looking base. It was one tasty artwork.

Crispiness – 9/10

Quality of Ingredients – 9/10

How well cooked – 9/10

Flavour Combinations – 8/10

Uniqueness – 10/10 (Black pizza? What will they think of next?)

 Pizza Nera at Basilico

So, in a city of gourmet pizza and ever-fancier delivery options, does Basilico hold its own? Absolutely.

They are a London company, their branches stretching from Crouch End to Lavender Hill, meaning that wherever you live in the city you can enjoy their fabulous pizza. Not so with big international companies like Deliveroo. By picking the restaurants, rather than the customer areas, they leave people like poor old me out in the cold when it comes to gourmet pizza – especially with a vegan in the house! Basilico caters to Londoners, however out on the peripheries they are.

 Basilico's Vegan Pizza

More importantly – the pizza is amazing. They promise to “make the best pizza, not the cheapest or fastest” and this commitment to quality is felt all the way through. Not the cheapest ingredients, the best ingredients, the best way of cooking them, the best way of combining them. This can be seen in the masterful flavour combinations of the Zucca, the artistic flair of the Nera, and the sensitive handling of the vegan Vegetarian. Even if you live surrounded by gourmet pizza joints, Basilico is without a doubt worth your time, because they have taken the time themselves to craft something excellent.

Sorry Deliveroo, I think you and I are through.