Traditionally, pizza had always been regarded as an underdeveloped snacking option, an ill-begotten attempt at replicating the big city trappings of New York City or Rome. As chains such as Dominos and Pizza Hut made their way across the Mediterranean, the culinary intruder gained some popularity, but could never stand up to local pita-bread based treats such as falafel and shawarma. In Tony Vespa, founding chef Leon Alkelay changes the rules by reinventing the dish as a high-end option that combines both local and international elements while maintaining the its timeless role as a fast-food staple.
Adopting a Roman-inspired formula, chef Alkelay uses flour imported from Italy to create a rectangular shaped base, breaking with the usual pie-shaped model, thereby offering for more variation when slicing and serving the meal. Clients are invited to choose from a wide array of toppings, after which the pizza is weighed for costing and then inserted into the oven. Boasting two centrally located branches in the White City, Tony Vespa is a consummate late night snacking locale, or a home delivery option for the inevitable night in.