Deriving its name from Aztec lore, this sourdough pizza spot in up-and-coming Crystal Palace revers the god of fermentation and the goddess of alcohol – hence why 400 Rabbits have already become well-known for their craft beers. Thousands of years ago, the Aztecs worshipped these deities and according to legend, they hooked up and the result of this union was – yes you guessed – no fewer than 400 rabbits. Perhaps this was where the phrase ‘breeding like rabbits’ comes from? Step into the present day and without alcohol and fermentation we wouldn’t have beer or sourdough pizza. Continuing my London pizza trail, I couldn’t resist a mid-week cheer-me-up pizza in a spot much closer to home.
400 Rabbits uses toppings from British artisanal producers with fresh and seasonal vegetables. Other staple ingredients include Fior de Latte Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomatoes, capers and top-notch extras too. Compounding its foodie credentials, 400 Rabbits serves Allpress coffee, cold-pressed juices and best of all Gelupo gelato, which they enhance further through their spectacular Sundae serving options – but more on that later.
Opting to share all three vege choices on offer, my companions and I went for the San Marzano Tomato with Fior di Latte Mozzarella, Basil and Olive Oil (£6.00), Courgettes, Garlic, Pine Nuts, Feta, Mozzarella and Thyme (£7.50), and Piquillo Peppers, Lilliput Capers, Goats Cheese, Pimenton, Mozzarella, Tomato and Rocket (£8.50). Like Franco Manca, the sourdough base gives the pizzas a deeper flavour, whilst keeping a light texture and crust. The highlight for me was the pizza bianco because of its unusual thyme seasoning and deliciously crunchy pine nuts. Unfortunately, we missed the specials on offer which featured a halloumi, harissa and coriander pizza, and a butternut squash and tenderstem broccoli quinoa salad (very healthy for a pizza restaurant!). Let’s hope they still serve something like this when I return.
For afters, we couldn’t resist the Gelupo build-your-own sundae. Gelupo is arguably London’s best gelato, but it’s served even better here as you can compile on your toppings and sauces. We went for scoops of Hazlenut and Fig, and Vanilla, with a Salted Caramel Sauce and Caramelised Hazlenut Pieces to top (£3.00). The crunch of the nuts was spectacular and the caramel-like figs and the sauce were delicious – even I (who is actually normally dairy-free) threw out the rule-book and enjoyed a spoon or four!
The progression of central London has spread beyond Peckham to spots even closer to home. And all items on the menu are available to take away or eat in so you can get your pizza fix no matter what.
400 Rabbits, 30-32 Westow Street, London, SE19 3AH