Ever met anyone who doesn’t like pizza? It’s a baffling concept for me to get my head around. However, a few of my friends claim they just “don’t like pizza”. How? Why? Really?! What’s not to love about a gooey, rich, melted-cheese feast? Yeah, I get that it’s unhealthy, but come on….
After living in London for years I’ve been to many a pizza joint. Little family run Italian ones in Fitzrovia (my favourite kind), Soho Joe’s, in er, Soho (cheap, busy, but brilliant), the chain with a twist – Pizza Express Live Jazz club on Dean Street (does what it says on the tin, pizza and jazz music), the I’m-drunk-and-can’t-resist-a-slice from Leicester Square street vendors and not forgetting the forever faithful Dominos in our old village East Finchley (their herb and garlic dip rocks any pizza combo).
So, when the new, all-singing-all-dancing pizza joint Mo Doughs arrived in Moseley village in Birmingham to say I got a little over excited is an understatement. It opened on Friday 7th March and I’ve been banging on about it to my husband, friends, anyone who’d listen ever since. Turns out not everyone has a penchant for pizza like me. Fools. Anyway, finally, a month later, I managed to convince my friend Michelle to come with me.
I instantly loved everything about this place. The alluring wood-fired pizza stove that sits outside the entrance, the crisp, hand-carved, white furniture giving the restaurant a sense of lofty coolness, the ingenious sounding food menu, the cocktail bar. Even the decor is designed to impress with huge handcrafted, wooden picture fames on every wall showcasing awesome photography by local photographer Richard Brocken.
I was impressed with the pizza menu, short but creative. We ordered a Peaky Blinder (tomato, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, scotch bonnet chilies, caramelized onion) and a No. 50 (pesto, mozzarella, grilled aubergine, artichoke, onion, olives, oregano). Both were a taste sensation. The Peaky B and it’s devilish hot Scotch Bonnet Chilies was quite full on, but in a good way I thought.
We also got to try a slice of a Billy Mo (tomato, goats cheese, oxsprings ham, smoke tomato) which was amazing, probably my favourite out of the three. So will definitely be coming back and ordering that next time.
If the mouth-watering wood fired pizzas and shabby chic decor isn’t enough to encourage you to get up off your sofa and get your butt down there immediately, then maybe the cocktail bar and beer menu will? The bartenders will pretty much make any cocktail you want… rum based, gin based, rum/ gin/ vodka based – whatever your tipple. For the beer hounds amongst us the local craft beers (brewed by small, independent brewers) will really wet your whistle. I’m no connoisseur when it comes to craft beer but they serve Purity Longhorn if that means anything to anyone?
To top it all off and bring a sense of Moseley’s boho vibe to proceedings Mo Doughs is also a live music venue. So you can munch your wood-flamed cheesy delight while being aurally pleasured by a host of musicians playing live funk, soul and blues.
This is one pop-up restaurant I really hope sticks around longer than the average temporary supper club. It’s a creative curveball – inspiring, unique and offering a taste of something outside the norm.
Service is a little rough around the edges, let’s be kind and call it “charmingly rustic” i.e. no-one really knows what’s going on. Do you order at your table? Do you order at the bar? However, you’ll soon not care when it arrives. But go prepared with the knowledge you might not be fussed over by waiting staff.
For the final piece de resistance they even have a pimped up Mo Dough’s delivery van cruising around the Midlands dropping off pizza deliveries. I’d be pretty impressed if that rolled up to my front door!