Pick-up-and-eat pizza is our new favourite pizza

HEAD to Sale waterfront and you’ll discover the true taste of Italy – a taste of Rome, in fact. “Roma è arrivata a Sale!” says the MANO a BOCCA website – Rome has arrived in Sale. You can also ditch the cutlery as the Romana-style pizzas served here are pick-up-and-eat, and MANO a BOCCA translates as “hand to mouth”.

Flour, oil and many of the other ingredients are brought in directly from Italy to give MANO a BOCCA pizzas a truly authentic flavour

The thin-crust base has a light texture with a minimal crust, perfect for getting your mitts round. The special dough is made daily using Italian flour and extra virgin olive oil (no scrimping there), then left to prove for 24 hours to get that signature light fluffiness. Many of the other ingredients are brought in directly from Italy to give MANO a BOCCA pizzas a truly authentic flavour: think scamorza (smoked cheese) and fior di latte mozzarella, salsiccia (Tuscan sausage), bresaola (cured beef), and red Calabrian piccante chillies – some of which you can order online or pick up from the on-site shop, along with biscotti, nduja, San Marzano tomatoes, and much more.

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MANO a BOCCA is co-owned by Michael Baker and William Moxey, both of whom have yards behind them on the pizza circuit. The pair enlisted the help of renowned pizzaiolo Marco Fuso to create their bespoke artisan dough recipe and assist with menu development. Whilst MANO a BOCCA lists some of the classics - Margherita and Pepperoni for example - they stamp their creative signature on the traditional Fiorentina pizza by substituting spinach for the more interesting friarielli (wild broccoli in chilli and garlic) to set themselves apart. 

Common in Rome are bianca bases, without tomato, and here there’s quite a choice, from the Speck (smoked cured ham) and Gorgonzola to the Gamberoni tiger prawns, crème fraiche and spinach, and from the Zucchini (courgette flower & anchovy) to the vegan Cavolfiore (curried cauliflower). Another of the plant-based picks is the Broccoli, with vegan mozzarella and, unusually, a butternut squash base rather than tomato.

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A selection of pasta dishes is also available, all oven baked, including Rigatoni Friarielli with gorgonzola, and aubergine-based Melanzane Parmigiana. Starters include the likes of Mushroom Bruschetta; sweet treats include Tiramisu and Caffè Reale - a half-healthy figs steeped in syrup and served with mascarpone. To go with this, there’s a dessert wine, or a port if you opt for the Italian cheeseboard.

The wine list and fizz, not to mention the beers and ciders, are also all from Italy. Rome street photography, Italian films posters and the Garlando table-footy table complete the vibe, and there’s a large outside heated terrace overlooking the Sale Waterside Plaza for those alfresco moments.

Find out more here.