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Slice, Northern Quarter, Reviewed

David Blake on reviewing, cheap eats and propa' pizza

Written by . Published on July 15th 2014.


Slice, Northern Quarter, Reviewed
 

FOOD REVIEWS can be too long, and invariably boring.

Wisdom tells you that anything deep pan is mostly just flabby bread with plastic fat splayed across the top for people that waddle around Iceland.

The bits about food can get bogged down. The minute intricacies of the basil granita worry me not, I don’t even know what a basil granita is – I’m guessing you don’t either – sounds like a shade of paving.

Sunday morning gone I attempted to read a 157,000 word restaurant review in a national paper and woke up Monday morning face-down in a breakfast burrito (Home Sweet Home, £7, top tucker).

But we've all fallen into wordiness. I'm no better. I recently knocked out over 1000 on a bar. It's enough to make your eyes picket their sockets.

So for that reason, and that for the most part I'm a tart with my food preferences (I’m currently eating a Greggs sausage roll that looks like molten grey play-doh poured into pastry bound by the soggy scales of Psoriasis... enjoying it too), we’re doing a collection of short and sharp, cheap and cheerful reviews. Best Of MCR Cheap Eats, around £5 and 500 words.

Of which I've spent a good part talking drivel. Prat. On we stride.

Slice, Stevenson SquareSlice, Stevenson Square

I’ve often thought Italian street food to be much like watching Alan Titchmarsh on TV. Passable, but mostly uninspiring and repeatedly bobbins.

So I’ve ignored Slice in the past, the pizza-by-the-slice joint on Stevenson Square. I've since flogged myself for it.

Slice, of course, is nothing new. Confidential reviewed it soon after opening in September 2012. But Slice demonstrates the most attractive facet of the Northern Quarter, its ability to throw you a new (even if it’s been there yonks) and stimulating NQ nugget every now and then to tide you over until you stumble across the next.

Slice is my latest squeeze.

Stevenson Square PiazzaThe Stevenson Square Piazza

Pizza should be so easy to get right, but rarely is. Wisdom tells you that anything deep pan is mostly just flabby bread with plastic fat splayed across the top for people that waddle around Iceland, while most restaurant attempts are humdrum and worst, synthetic (there are exceptions, but not enough).

Real pizza, real Roman pizza at least (pizza from Naples differs slightly) should be graphene-thin and crisp, with the ingredients up top left to take the lead, without the mush and hubbub of heavy-set dough swamping the flavours below.

In which case, Slice have nailed it. You’d hope so too, the owners spent lengthy spells under a pizza master in Rome to get it just right.

Slice pizzaSpicy arrabbiata pizza

My spicy arrabbiata with buffalo mozzarella, rocket and tomato sauce was a slice of Italian finesse, the ingredients sharp but subtle enough up top to allow you to actually taste the quality of the fresh, crispy base beneath.

I'd buoyed the lunch with a wedge of focaccia bread, which unlike the pizza, needs to be thick like an orthopaedic mattress for a Rhino with a dicky back. This slab with leek and pancetta, was light, chewy, fluffy and near faultless.

Topping that off (notch that one), this is cheap fare - under £3 a helping - with bob-on service, keen as mustard, my lunch was carried out as I basked on the Stevenson piazza.

Hum O Sole Mio and squint hard enough at the graffitied bohème in the centre of the square and you could almost be sat outside San Lorenzo's Formula Uno pizzeria in Rome. Until the no.118 roars past coughing like Dot Cotton. By taste and pocket then, perhaps.

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ALL OUR SCORED FOOD REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY MANCHESTER CONFIDENTIAL. REVIEW VISITS ARE UNANNOUNCED AND COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT OF ANY COMMERCIAL RELATIONSHIP.

Slice, Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, M1 1DN. 0161 236 9032

Rating: 16/20 (Remember venues are rated against the best examples of their kind; fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes)
Food: 8/10
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing, 14-15 worth a trip, 16-17 very good, 18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away

SliceSlice

SliceSlice

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42 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Emma AthertonJuly 15th 2014.

Best pizza in Manchester!

JimJuly 15th 2014.

Although good I wouldn't say it's that cheap as around £3 for one small piece of pizza is quite expensive. I accept you pay for the quality but at lunch I need at least 2 slices to fill me :-)

1 Response: Reply To This...
EvoJuly 15th 2014.

Agree. Pizza costs very little to make, i'd say £3 a slice was a hefty mark-up. It's not as if the toppings are particularly decadent.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

Traditional Italian style pizza maybe but let's be honest, Domino's is nicer.

10 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

It really isn't

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

I like deep pan pizza but Domino's is really poor in my experience. Local take out pizzas (X-Press Pizza) and Papa John's are much better examples IMO.

mancadamJuly 16th 2014.

Dominos is absolutely dreadful.

EbertJuly 16th 2014.

It really really isn't.

SAZKJuly 16th 2014.

Personally I like Dominos. But i dont think of it as 'proper' pizza, it's it's own thing!

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

You can't even get ham on a Dominos pizza as they have a Halal only policy. Halal = No Thanks

ObolloxJuly 17th 2014.

What's wrong with halal, anon?

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

It's cruelty OBOLLOX.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

Halal = bad, bacon = good.

ObolloxJuly 17th 2014.

How is it more cruel than other slaughter methods? It's funny how some people all of a sudden become concerned about animal welfare when it comes to food prepared to Muslim traditions... I bet you never gave a second thought to how your meat is produced until you were told that halal is cruel. www.theguardian.com/…/halal-outrage-concern-animal-welfare-muslim-ritual-slaughter…

MGSJuly 15th 2014.

"FOOD REVIEWS can be too long, and invariably boring." Stopped reading after that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

But scrolled to the bottom to post this useless rant?

AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

Its fantastic and less than £3 a slice is good value - you don't need more than one.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

you might not, but most folk would...

AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

Pizza? Hmmm...maybe that'll blow the burger fad out of the water or, start the Manchester food wars.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

My review would be: Service: 4/5 Ambience: 4/5 Food: 2/5 That is not good pizza, sorry.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 24th 2015.

The best Roma-style pizza in Manchester. I don't class deep-pan as pizza at all.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2014.

All I can say, having gone without any great expectations, is that the pizzas are fan-bloody-tastic. Crispy, filling and full of flavour. Hands down the best pizza I've had in this country. And no I don't own or work in the place.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

I can make better pizza in my shitty oven at home...

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

I bet you can't.

Charles CohenJuly 15th 2014.

A funny light-hearted review of the excellent Slice. However, considering that "people that waddle" usually have cash to blow on true goo, isn't it time that some Manc entrepreneur introduced sauce on top, stretchy cheese, takes a week to eat, real Chicago deep dish pizza? Google "Gino's East" in the Windy City and maybe we could start a new trend?

1 Response: Reply To This...
SAZKJuly 16th 2014.

Pizza pie! yum :)

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

the pizzas are awful imo (as of last year) I tried 4 including the garlic bread (I think it was actually titled 'fragranced bread, I can't remember) I did go late at night just before closing though and this could have been a factor but a few of my northern quarter friends agree this place is overated

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 24th 2015.

Been many times last year. Never disappointed me. It's the only place in Manchester where I can get my proper Italian (Roma to be precise) pizza fix.

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Since when are all deep pan pizzas considered awful? One of the best I've ever had was deep pan (in America). They're a lot unhealthier but I don't think that's especially important in this instance. I've been to Slice only once (around when it first opened) and whilst it was nice, it didn't blow me away, otherwise I would have been back by now. On the other hand, the deep pan pizza I referred to before, I had twice in the space of a week.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

How can people say it's expensive when the likes of Domino's etc charge obscene amounts for analogue cheese/mozzarella mix pizza. At least this place does good quality ingredients and is a speedy alternative to a pre-packed sandwich.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

followup review for 23rd street pizza in fallowfield, proper new york style pizza, and cheaper.

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

Where in Manchester can you get a proper wood-fired pizza?... Apart from those vans that come and go?... It's an genuine question.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

I don't know the answer. So where can you?

AnonymousJuly 28th 2014.

Salvi's Cucina I think?

AnonymousJuly 17th 2014.

I don't know either...

AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

Visited Slice last year and a few months ago. Most recently, I went with a group of friends in between visiting a few pubs. It was a horrible winter day and the rain had set in so we decided to dine in. The staff led us to a candlelit table and we enjoyed a mixture of delicious pizzas presented to us on wooden boards with a bottle of wine and some complimentary bruschetta. I had always thought of Slice as a takeaway joint during the day but would recommend an evening visit to anyone!

Mark BoardmanJuly 22nd 2014.

£3 for a slice that doesnt even hit the sides. it not bad though. bot great. not bad. £8 for two slices and a bottle of coke and im still not full. i think thats expensive.

AnonymousJuly 27th 2014.

manchester doesn't have good pizza... Slice is fine, not good.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 24th 2015.

Slice is pretty much the best Roma style pizza you can get in Manchester. Actually, the best proper pizza you can get in Manchester.

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