September 19, 2021

Zaika

Livingston

‘I ate at the London pub that’s sticking rhubarb on its pizzas and it tastes way better than you’d think’ – Ellen Jenne

5 min read

Now, having pineapple on pizza is probably one of the most controversial and divisive food combinations of our time.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a pop-up pizza place that aims to push the boat out a little bit further than you’re usual, safe combos.

Because really, what could be more controversial than pineapple on pizza? Seriously?

Well, Flat Earth, who are currently based out of The Railway Tavern in Dalston, East London, have brought a new player into the game – rhubarb on pizza.

Yes, you did read that correctly – rhubarb on pizza.

READ MORE: London vegan restaurant ‘set to rival’ McDonald’s and diners say it’s ‘bang on’



Pineapple has nothing on rhubarb when it comes to pizza

As in the same rhubarb you get with custard for school dinner desserts.

I have to admit, I was taken aback when I read Flat Earth’s menu and saw what the Hackney Hot pizza had to offer.

Sweet pickled beetroot, rhubarb, chillis, Somerset cheese, chilli salsa and homemade tomato passata.

It definitely wasn’t your typical Italian pizza toppings, but it certainly was adventurous – and I’m always happy to try anything once.

I have to admit, I don’t mind pineapple on a pizza (I know, sue me), so the idea of rhubarb wasn’t a deal breaker.

Trekking across London to The Railway Tavern, I sat down with Sarah and Rich – the brains behind Flat Earth.



Rich said that people thought they were mad to put beetroot on a pizza!

Having both worked in different areas of corporate hospitality, the couple decided to combine their love of food with a sustainable ethos, while supporting their community working with local suppliers.

Sarah and Rich want to open your eyes to endless possibilities – even if that does mean whacking rhubarb and cheese together.

I know, who’d have thought it?

You won’t find your Texas BBQ, or meat feast here.

Their carousel of seasonal toppings can change each month, so there’ll always be something new to try at Flat Earth.



Flat Earth are taking on the norm one pizza at a time

Rich said: “We just want to do something with good seasonal ingredients, and just sort of break the boundaries of pizza.”

Not satisfied with the options on offer for veggies and vegans, they decided to take matters into their own hands – and tackling food wastage at the same time.

Whether you’re sat inside or outside at The Railway Tavern, you won’t be able to escape the smell of the pizzas – and Flat Earth’s homemade kimchi and pickled veg.

You’ll find the likes of picked samphire from the Essex coast and apples for their homemade barbecue sauce adorning the pub’s bar.



The perfect vegan alternative to your Texas BBQ

So, for starters we tried a small version of their Tempah No Meat Meatballs, which is a fully vegan pizza.

Now, I’ll have to admit, I was concerned about the vegan cheese which has a slightly poor reputation.

But the Melty Mozza from the ‘Arty Vegan hit the spot – the father-daughter duo have managed to emulate mozzarella cheese to perfection, so I waved goodbye to my reservations.

It’s a foolproof version of your classic meatball pizza, with the Tempeh balls reminiscent of Ikea’s Swedish meatball classic.

So we geared ourselves up for the infamous Hackney Hot – and it didn’t disappoint.

You have to go in with an open mind and dispel any thoughts of seeing bright pink rhubarb on top of your pizza.



Rhubarb on pizza is a winning combo

Rich covers the rhubarb in brown sugar and leaves it in the door of their pizza oven, where it cooks down until it’s caramelised.

The rhubarb wasn’t as sweet or tangy as pineapple, so it didn’t overpower the rest of the pizza.

It was subtle and complimented the pickled beets and the Somerset cheese – a pleasant and highly enjoyable surprise.

Honestly, I’m converted.



A healthy lashing of vegan mozzarella finished this pizza off nicely

I would go as far to say that rhubarb is 100% the next pineapple – if not better than that.

Now, I’m sure there’ll be some out there disagreeing with me, but don’t knock it until you try it.

The Hackney Hot packed a delightful punch and I could certainly see why it’s one of Flat Earth’s most popular flavour combos.

I was fascinated with the taste and, as a foodie, it was a welcome experience.



Don’t knock any of the pizza combos until you try them for yourself

We feasted on their vegan Courgette, Fennel and Walnut pizza which was mellow and light.

Sarah and Rich champion their ingredients and always find inventive ways to use every part of their produce.

If you’re looking for something richer, their Charred Hispi Romanesco might just be the one for you.

Each of their pizzas show off their produce and inventiveness in different ways, and even though their flavour combos may not be traditional, they definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.



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This little corner of Dalston hides some of the weirdest concepts for a pizza that I’ve ever come across.

But it worked – it really worked.

Flat Earth is daring to be bold and push the boundaries of classic Italian cuisine.

Think of it as Italian cooking with Hackney’s own spin.

So if you’re looking for something a little different this summer – keep an eye out for Flat Earth, they might just change your mind about fruit on pizza.

Is there a story you think we should be covering? If so, please email [email protected]

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