I recently had the opportunity to review the newly anticipated Franco Manca restaurant in Brighton marina. This Neapolitan style pizzeria chain can be found across the UK with its original location being in Brixton. Alongside this it already has an existing location in Regent Street, Brighton, however with waterfront views and beautiful sunsets I was more than happy to head down to the marina and see what Franco Manca had to offer.
I haven’t previously visited any of the restaurants but I am well aware of its excellent reputation in offering authentic sourdough pizzas using locally sourced ingredients.
I decided to bring my partner Jamie along for the ride and on approaching the restaurant its large windows and brightly lit signs were warming and inviting.
Seating 80, the new waterfront location boasts a large tiled wood burning oven which can be spotted from any angle in the restaurant at which cooks its pizzas at 500 degrees.
The restaurant was extremely clean with simple and modern interior including beautiful patterned tiled floors, marble topped tables, white tiled kitchen areas and canteen style wooden seating. Comical sketched artwork adorns the walls and the large chalkboards display the specials and starters. It is regularly being updated and changed depending on what fresh ingredients they have on the day.
After being seated next to some fellow blogging friends, Georgia, Beckie, Ali and Ashley. Jamie ordered a bottle of no logo cider and I opted for a glass of their organic lemonade, both of which were served in tumbler glasses.
We decided to sample their starters of the day which were displayed on the large chalkboards either side of the restaurant. We chose two platters; the buffalo mozzarella with Langhirano 30 day cured prosciutto ham and also the buffalo mozzarella bites with rocket, tomato and pesto salad topped with crisp breads.
Both the platters were so delicious and it’s safe to say we gobbled them all up. My favourite was the prosciutto ham, it was flavoursome and one I would definitely recommend you try!
After finishing up our platters we were excited to dig into our pizzas, the menu is small and simple with only 6 pizzas being on offer and two salads. I ordered the tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza and added black olives and Jamie chose the special ‘meaty’ pizza with mozzarella, spinach, Stilton and onions.
The pizzas arrive unsliced which wasn’t a problem for me but if you would like it to be pre-sliced the staff at Franco Manca will happily cut it for you.
We dived straight it and we were both not disappointed, the base was soft and perfectly doughy, and its charcoaled edged crust had just the right amount of chew. The tomato was sweet and tangy and Jamie’s Stilton was creamy and not at all overpowering. However I committed an Italian crime and didn’t finish my crust! I was beyond stuffed and thankful that the pizzas do only come in one size!
Given that the restaurant was busy, the service was excellent with the atmosphere feeling calm and relaxing. The staff were both accommodating and friendly and extremely informative and knowledgeable of the menu.
After indulging in our mains, dreamy Italian desserts were on my mind and I ordered the chocolate & hazelnut cake and Jamie chose the raspberry sorbet. Franco Manco also have lemon and Rosemary cake and a selection of ice cream on offer. My cake was perfectly spongy and the hazelnut flavour really came through. The raspberry Sorbet was average, it was tart and tangy but it just didn’t compare to previous Italian Sorbets we have tried.
To top it all off we finished off our evening with a big cheers and a shot of Italian Limoncello.
The one thing I really loved about this soft sourdough base is that it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated after your meal. Although you can’t book a table I definitely recommend making this restaurant your lunch time pit stop as food is incredibly affordable and simply delicious.
Big thanks for inviting me Franco Manca, I had a wonderful time.
Have you tried Franco Manca’s Pizzas?