The Soho Group does dining well. No, not just well. Fantastically, spledidly, trendsettingly well golly that was a top feed I say! Sitting on one of their sanded tables/ robust leather lounges/ striped sunbeds, you find yourself easily spending four to five hours nestling a good bottle of wine and succumbing to their subtle advances to bring more snacks and tid bits.
Pizza East Portobello allows the cool cats of the West End to participate in the Soho Group empire - one that spans from the East and is well represented in the centre. Soho House, Cecconis, Little House, Dean Street Townhouse .... ok, you get the point.
PEP - in fact all the Pizza East joints, have that L.E.S NYC feel ( go to the bathroom and just try to convince me you don't feel like you're at Schillers). Rusty metal chairs, tiled walls, creaky wooden floors spread accross two floors... yep, this placae ticks the atmosphere box with a thick red marker.
// Ground floor //
Like all the Soho House menus - it's simple, loaded with flavour and painstakingly hard to make a decision. Today's special is laid out on the kitchen counter for mouths to drool over. A whole salt cured salmon lazily lays alongside a damn fine piece of pork belly - this item a staple on the menu.
// Open kitchen //
The salmon (£16) is tender, juicy and arrives with a just as tasty side of chickpeas, spinach and soy beans in a spicy mix.
// Salt cured salmon //
The pork belly (£15) is crisp and succulent. The roast potatoes golden with a hard shell and laced with rosemary. The smell is enough to make the nostrils flare in excitement.
// Crispy pork belly //
No dining experience isn't complete without a desert. To keep with the 'salted' theme, a slice of salted chocolate caramel tart (£6) is shared. All this is washed down with freshly made lemonade - refreshingly sour.
The crowd is hip and any streetstyle mag could easily photograph a whole week's worth of content in one sitting. Leather satchels during lunch, heels teamed with boyfriend jeans at night.
// Inside PEP //
If the rain has stopped for more than half an hour, bag yourself a seat outside and watch the Portobello fashionistas strut their stuff. Pizza East Portobello gets a big loud so perhaps not the best place to take a first date, or to break up.