Review of Fausto Pizza as it serves up seaside slices in new Roker venture
Sunderland restaurants and pop-ups have really upped their game when it comes to the art of pizza making.
From the huge slabs of deep pan Detroit-style pizzas served up by Midnight Pizza Crü’s pop-ups to the moreish slices of Neapolitan-style pizzas bring slung by Wild Fire at their new home at Ship Isis, pizza lovers have plenty of choice in the city these days.
Fausto Coffee, with its distinctive Neapolitan ice cream colour scheme, has already proved a popular spot for coffee, cake and bagels for a refuel at the end of the C2C cycle route in Marine Walk.
Now it’s on track to cater for the evening market with its Fausto Pizza arm to the business.
Over the summer, the owners invested in a Gozney pizza oven and revamped the seating area to the right of the main door to create the new offering, which has seats indoors as well as outdoors where you can tuck into hand-stretched pizzas with uninterrupted sea views.
We visited on a Saturday night and it was a great alternative for an evening meal away from the city centre which was choc-a-bloc after an SAFC win at home.
With the sun setting, a new neon Fausto Pizza sign glowing, a cracking playlist from the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Blur and David Bowie and an alcohol menu, it all helps to give the coffee shop a different night time dynamic.
Then there’s the pizza, of course, which is served Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm to 9pm, with booking available through the link on the @faustopizzaandbar Instagram page.
The menu is small, but perfectly formed, meaning they can concentrate on doing each dish well. Even the house side salad, often a forgettable plate on the table, was a triumph – peppery rocket drizzled in balsamic and topped with sun-dried tomatoes and plenty of parmesan shavings.
There’s six regular pizzas from which to choose, margherita, The Fausto, nduja, spicy salami, prosciutto, veggie marinara and a special which changes each week. Prices are fair, starting at £5.50 for the margherita to the priciest option, the nduja at £10.
We both chose The Fausto, the pizza version of their best-selling bagel, topped with parma ham, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes with a drizzle of pesto and basil.
The base was perfect, with the satisfying bubbles you only get from the intense heat of the pizza oven, with plenty of toppings to devour.
I especially enjoyed our affogato dessert, which I begrudgingly shared with my friend. For £6 you get a good-sized portion of this classic Italian pudding of vanilla ice cream melted into submission with hot espresso and, on this occasion, topped with a biscotti crumb.
Drinks-wise, you can sup on local beers from the likes of Vaux, Full Circle and North Pier Brew Co, priced from £3.80, as well as household name brews. There’s also a good selection of wines by the glass, including the ever popular 19 Crimes, priced from £3.50.