A pizza in 90 seconds – it sounds too good to be true.
This is what I thought to myself when I walked through the doors to Edinburgh’s new pizza restaurant – offering a product quicker than what it usually takes me to pick which toppings I desire.
@Pizza is looking to revolutionise the way Edinburgh eats pizza – changing the misconception that pizza can’t be for lunch due to time restrictions for the busy working class individual.
Even with a conveyor oven set at 600 degrees, I was still feeling sceptical until I saw it with my own eyes.
Co-founders Bhasker Dhir and Rupert Lyle have a clear vision for the business and don’t see why @Pizza cannot become a global brand in the future.
Bhasker, who helped launch all the Pizza Hut restaurants in Scotland, said: “We had been talking about pizza for a long time.
What’s wrong with the world of pizza and how it can be done properly? There is a lot of frustration that, for lunch time, pizza takes too long to cook. The industry is currently too slow and too inconsistent.
“If we can change people’s behaviour at lunchtime, thinking that pizza is an option, then that would be excellent. If we can interact with the consumer and local community and become part of the Edinburgh culture that would be great.”
In @Pizza, based on Charlotte Lane, you are left with endless possibilities with 56,000 combinations of pizza to choose from. The first being the sourdough or ancient grain base, followed by your choice of sauce, cheese, toppings and finishes once your personalised pizza is cooked.
My sourdough pizza was topped with a classic tomato sauce, Scottish mozzarella, chicken, chorizo and red onion topped with garlic oil.
The crispy base was beautifully light, airy with a bubbly crust which just melted in the mouth and made me want to indulge further.
The sweetness of the sauce and red onion was complemented by the chorizo and chicken with the pizza tasting so fresh thanks to the ingredients being brought in from local suppliers and across particular areas of Italy.
The Scottish mozzarella that made the cut for my personal pizza is in fact made from Yester Mains Farm at Gifford, in East Lothian.
The restaurant has a modern theme which is bound to be a hit with the younger generation in particular.
Rupert added: “I think we are a business that has been set up for the future, largely based around millennials.
“Edinburgh has a huge young population, big university population. We think our brand is perfect for the Edinburgh consumer.
“If the launch goes well we will be looking for two or three more sites in the next 18 months in Edinburgh with the possibility of growing further.”
@Pizza has created a total of 25 brand new jobs, all working under the Scottish living wage.
The restaurant will be open from 11am until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and from 11am until 1am on Friday and Saturday with the possibility of extending the weekend hours until 3am to offer an alternative option to those starving partygoers.
Bhasker also told me the future could see an App being created to order your pizza and allow hundry customers to collect it directly from the restaurant.
The official opening of @Pizza will take place on Saturday with the first 100 customers through the doors from noon able to get their hands on a free pizza.
If mine was anything to go by, you’ll be in for a treat.
The oven cooks at 600 degrees fahrenheit and it is a conveyor oven so it will always cook in 90 seconds.
He added: “We’ve developed two types of dough, 180g goes into each pizza and we end up with really light airy and bubbly crust – guaranteed 90 second cook.”