Meaning “cute” in Italian, “Bellilo” is certainly deserving of its name. A Neapolitan pizzeria sitting on a street corner on Munster Road, Fulham, their moto is “from our lands to your hands”. And their chewy, Neapolitan pizzas are definitely ideal for hand-holding: their pizzas must be eaten by the hand.
With branches in Barcelona and Naples, this spot opened in late 2015 and promises authenticity. As soon as you walk in, you get that sense. The service is truly warm and welcoming and the walls are full of photographs of the founders of the business, sourcing produce in Italy. Made to order in a traditional wood-fired pizza oven, each pizza is topped with carefully selected ingredients from across Italy, from the 36-month aged seasoned Reggiano parmesan to the smoked buffalo mozzarella DOP from Campania. Although the draft from the front- and back-doors mean you need to keep your scarf whilst here, it feels like Italy proper.
The pizza menu at Bellillo changes regularly in order to champion the use of seasonal produce. Pizzas currently on the 20-strong menu include favourites such as margherita, as well as their namesake the Bellillo. Prices are ambitious though: we ordered a Buffalo Margherita for £8.50, whilst our Vegetarian “4 verdure” went up to £14.50.
In fairness, the latter was an innovative combination of ingredients. A pizza split into quarters, each was topped with a cream made from four different vegetables: aubergine, peppers, courgette and Neapolitan broccoli. My favourite was probably the latter which had a wonderful, pesto-like quality. Be warned, though, the cheese atop is a smokey one so if you’re not a fan of those strong flavours, opt to swap for a fail-safe buffalo mozzarella.
The doughs here taste like Naples proper and it’s no surprise: the pizza oven has come from Naples and gets up to 450C. That temperature, though, is slightly below the 485C that is the recommended minimum for a Naples style pizza. In that regard, the crusts could have been a touch more charcoaly but their chewy quality was moreish and made the pizzas feel light. It also meant that the pizzas were ideal for eating by the hand and folded over – just like the young boys in the photograph, above our table! Also not to miss are the foccacia, which are crusty and very well-seasoned.
Though there are probably better pizzerias in London, Bellilo is definitely worth a visit for a taste of authentic, family-made Neapolitan pizzas.
Bellilo, 255 Munster Rd, Fulham, London SW6 6BW