Happy Dough Lucky have been teasing me for months. Facebook posts, press releases on email, you name it. It has been on the cards for months and months but is only now fully up and running. Based at The Lacehouse, a beautiful bar on Broadway in the city centre, this pizza pop up has been months in the making.
Their Facebook page states ‘It started with two fellas, a chef and a team of creatives. Our dream was simple, to open a new pop up concept, serving proper pizzas and all things sweet.’ They want to make real proper pizza, Neapolitan pizza. Now I have never been to Naples, but I am hoping for real, authentic pizza.
They have just completed their 12 week soft launch, and are apparently only around for 12 more weeks (although I suspect they will be open longer judging by the success they have already had!) and by all accounts it has gone really well. With 61 5* reviews on Facebook so far, and number one for pizza on trip advisor, they are obviously doing something well.
I was invited down last night to try out the pizza for myself and I am glad I did.
We arrived to glasses of Rum Punch and were seated at the long wooden bench, behind which was a photo wall with polaroid style pictures featuring the Happy Dough Lucky team on their trip around Naples. This added a nice touch and it was lovely to see the trip that inspired this little pop up.
The decor is cool and fun, with light boxes and neon lights featuring their hashtag #JustDoughIt
The kitchen is open plan so you can watch the dough being stretched and prepped while you wait.
Menus came out (stamped with the HDL logo on arrival) and we were told that a bunch of starters would arrive so that we could get a taste of everything. All we needed to concentrate on was picking our perfect pizza from the numbered list.
The starters (or small plates on the menu) arrived, and they were GOOD.
Spicy chips, with flavours influenced by their Moroccan travels. These were very spicy and to begin with I didn’t think I would be able to handle them. They were so moreish that although hot, I ate a good portion of them. They don’t look great in the photo, but trust me, you need them in your life.
Huge dough balls covered in garlicky butter. These were amazing. Squidgy and perfectly cooked, slathered in garlic, I would have been happy to just eat these. The portion size was huge too. I will be going back for more as soon as possible.
The anti pasti board, with olives, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, roasted courgette and pizza dough sticks was again fantastic. I loved the pizza dough most of all. Bodes well for the pizzas if the dough sticks were good.
We then tried the quinoa salad. With artichoke, sweet potato, sundried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and mustard cress, this was light, tasty and perfect in the summer. I would still chose the pizza over a salad though!
On to mains. There are a choice of 6 different pizzas to be had, and there’s also a choice of gluten free dough and vegan cheese if needed.
I went for the number 2, with ‘nduja, prosciutto, chilli and basil. I opted for no cheese as usual. The dough is incredibly soft and fluffy, but the structure of it ensured no drooping, which I loved. It came with plenty of topping (although I would have liked a little more basil) and was piping hot when it arrived. Sometimes I find that a cheeseless pizza will either be burnt as they people don’t seem to keep an eye on cooking times in relation to cheesy pizza, or undercooked as they are removing it from the oven too soon. This was cooked perfectly and I really enjoyed it. The base is different to any I have ever had in Italy, and I was told that this was the traditional Neapolitan pizza ay. I am now looking at flight to Naples!
Completely stuffed, I was happy to sit back and relax while everyone else had dessert. However one was still placed in front of me. Obviously I didn’t complain as I am a piggy! Their chocolate and hazelnut doughnut usually comes with ricotta (I still don’t completely understand why you would put cheese and chocolate together) but thankfully that was left out of mine. Oh my goodness it was stuffed with Nutella, I picked it up and the Nutella ran down my hand. Fantastic. No scrimping on the chocolate. The doughnut was made from the same dough as the pizza and it really worked. Accompanied by glorious salted caramel, Mr Whippy style ice cream, this perfectly topped off the evening for me.
I really enjoyed my experience at Happy Dough Lucky. The food was brilliant, the staff friendly and willing to chat about their travels around Naples, the venue gorgeous. I will definitely go back soon and I think it’s a real shame that they may not be around come the summer. Definitely head down and grab a slice of authentic Neapolitan pizza before it is too late.
Thank you to the guys at Happy Dough Lucky for inviting me. My meal was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. I have definitely done that, it was genuinely fantastic.