I love going out for dinner… as my unhealthy bank balance reminds me every month.
What could be better than someone else doing all the hard work? Eating something that you wouldn’t/couldn’t make at home? And enjoying a slightly indulgent sense of occasion… even when there’s absolutely none?
Well, let me tell you, there is something better. Particularly in the middle of the week, when you have a full-time job to contend with, exercise to avoid, and an overwhelming desire not to diet. That something is… achieving all of the above, whilst sitting on your sofa wearing pyjamas.
This is where Deliveroo saves the (lazy) day.
Deliveroo is an online delivery service that opens up a whole new world of take-aways. Forget your standard chicken jalfrezis, crispy aromatic ducks, and Dominos. Deliveroo takes it up a notch. So far it’s been quick, it’s been reliable… and it brings me food from restaurants that don’t have a take-away option! (Admittedly, the selection of available establishments is small, but it’s growing.)
Tip: it’s a great place to order food from… but it’s also a pretty fantastic eating out experience (for when you can tear yourself away from your pyjamas and sofa).
Circolo Pizzeria, 78 Osborne Road, Southsea, PO5 3LU (opposite Debenhams)/your living room.
A high-quality pizzeria on Osborne Road, Southsea. It’s been open for a few years now, and it seems to be going from strength to strength. It’s not your average take-away pizza joint – no neon, no fried chicken, no kebabs. Instead, it’s a cosy, bustling restaurant with a good-sized Italian menu. Having the dishes and prices written on the wall tiles is also a nice touch.
From the street, you’ll notice the frontage before anything else. Simple, understated and appealing. Inside, you can expect wooden chairs, stools and sidebars, and (my favourite) windows seats. Of course, don’t forget the table outside… if you can put up with the rumbling traffic from Osborne Road!
Alternatively, you’ll experience the joy of a Deliveroo driver knocking on your front door and won’t see any of these things.
Circolo serves a satisfying selection of Italy’s finest. Think antipasti, salads, burgers, and pasta… although the main event is the pizza.
You can choose between “Basic Pizzas,” such as Margherita, and “Proper Pizzas,” like Fiorentina. As you might expect, the “Basics” are simpler and more authentic, while the “Propers” are more elaborate and laden with toppings. Check out the menu for more.
Tip: eat in or take-away on a Tuesday and it’s buy one get one free! I’m not sure this applies to Deliveroo, so it might be best to order directly from the restaurant.
WHAT THIS GIRL ATE
You might not be surprised to hear that I’ve eaten a LOT of pizza in my time. Locally, my favourite is Soprano’s, but Circolo is delicious and I’d happily recommended it.
If I’m honest, I love a “wet” pizza with lots of sauce and melted cheese, which Soprano’s does perfectly. Circolo’s pizzas are a little drier, but the flavours are all there, no question.
We ordered Caprese (tomatoes and mozzarella) and dough balls to start. The Caprese featured soft, good-quality mozzarella and juicy tomatoes, seasoned with black pepper and basil. Fresh and tasty.
The dough balls came in a small pizza box and the portion size was generous… which I appreciate! They were piping hot and perfectly baked. The garlic butter wasn’t too garlic-y and, again, there was enough to go around.
For the main event, we plumped for pizzas: Napoletana and Americano. The Napoletana came topped with olives, anchovies, capers, and garlic… the perfect level of saltiness. The base was thin and crispy, the cheese was generous, and the toppings were fresh and flavourful.
The Americano is simple: just a good, honest helping of pepperoni with bags of flavour. Easily as good as the Napoletana and hugely satisfying.
Great starters, delicious pizzas, fast and accurate delivery times… and that’s your mid-week indulgence sorted.
If I had to be fussy, I’d like the option to have salami instead of pepperoni… and I’d love a slightly “wetter” pizza.
Overall, these “pies” are delicious and I’ll continue to be a satisfied regular. Get a couple delivered or pop in and check it out… just bring your appetite and you won’t be disappointed.
Price: Dough balls, 3.50, Caprese 4.50, Napoletana, 9.50, Americano, 9.50. Deliveroo charge, 2.50.