A couple of weeks ago I was invited to spend the evening at Franco Manca in Reading – a chain of restaurants that specialise in sourdough pizza. The team at Franco Manca hosted a special evening to let local media, bloggers etc. sample some of the menu and hand selected organic and natural wines, no logo beer and cider, and other drinks. To be honest I had never heard of Franca Manco until attending this event, so I was full of intrigue before my arrival. Now I have experienced them for myself however, I thought it only right that I share five things you need to check out for yourself if you get the chance to visit Franco Manca.
Every great lunch and/or evening begins with a drink (not always alcoholic of course), and on arrival at Franco Manca in Reading, I was encouraged to give the Aperol Spritz – an Italian aperitif – a try. As you can see from the pictures, it was very orange in its appearance but super tasty all the same, I definitely recommend it.
As I was the designated driver for the evening, my alcohol intake stopped after one of the above before I switched to something soft. However, my husband took advantage of the evening out and tried the organic No Logo cider.
2. Small Bites
Franco Manca has recently introduced to its menu, small bites – Focaccia made from pizza dough, fresh rosemary, sprinkled with coarse salt and a drizzle of organic olive oil, plus baked spicy lamb sausage cooked in organic tomato with a touch of buffalo ricotta.
As a vegetarian (who tries to be as plant-based as possible in my diet, read about it here) I couldn’t try out the meat board (seen above), but I can tell you that the sourdough Focaccia was delicious. Also, while I generally don’t include dairy in my lifestyle, I do allow the odd 10% or so when it comes to cheese and sweet treats; our hostess was very insistent that my husband and I tried the Burrata Pugliese, a cream filled mozzarella (the cheese seen on the meat board above). Oh. My. Word! That and the homemade pesto was the absolute bomb!
3. Sourdough Pizza
Championing the classic Neapolitan pizza-making process, Franco Manca make their pizzas from slow-rising sourdough. The whole menu in fact invites customers on a delicious journey using UK growers and small scale Italian producers, and this is so evident in everything you taste, not just the pizza.
With pizza, asides from the toppings of course, it really is all about the base and sourdough makes a welcome change. Everything about these pizzas just makes you want to spend less time looking at them, and more time eating enjoying the fresh ingredients!
4. Franco Manca Pizza Masterclass
I love watching pizzas being made, especially when you see the dough mixture tossed high and spun in circles to stretch and shape the base. I think a pizza masterclass would make a really fun element to a hen do if the Bride-to-be wants something different to a cocktail making class, and it’s something easily that the whole group can get involved in.
Without doubt, the piece de resistance was the desert! Once we had enjoyed all the pizza, we were given a plate with three deserts on – lemon almond cake; chocolate hazelnut cake; tiramisu; and ice cream. The tiramisu was to die for, it was so scrumptious I could easily have had seconds.
Overall my husband and I had a wonderful evening at Franco Manca at the Oracle in Reading and we would definitely go back, particularly because it’s so affordable and we love our laid-back dining. A big thank you to the team for hosting us!
What’s your favourite pizza? Make sure you check out one of the many Franco Manca restaurants if you get a chance!
Until next time xFollow