The Actress – East Dulwich

It seems like Capital Pubs are gradually taking over South London. The Florence, The Victoria and The Bishop are already firm favourites, and the latest addition the their arsenal, The Actress, looks set to be just as popular.

Where the other three’s menus have centred around more traditional pub fodder, as well as providing a regular home to the infamous Meatwagon, The Actress, which is just around the corner from sister pub The Bishop in East Dulwich, have installed a towering wood-fired oven and alongside more usual pub favourites including sticky cider-braised ribs and hearty Sunday Roasts, will be serving pizza.

When I joined a gaggle of food bloggers at the pub to sample their wares last week, it was clear that like in their other pubs, they aren’t going to be serving up any old shit. The brains behind the operation have been munching their way through every pizza in London in order to work out how to achieve the perfect recipe, from working out the key to the best dough, and sourcing the highest quality toppings such as the Brindisa chorizo that will grace pizzas.

Indeed, the dough they’re using, which is dusted with semolina during rolling for extra crispiness, seems pretty spot on – light, but still chewy and doughy in places and speckled with air bubbles that allow for areas of serious crispness. Some of the other bloggers found them a little too cripsy, but to be honest, pizza preference is pretty subjective, and for me, they were just right. Especially on pizzas topped with thin-sliced potato or deep swathes of spicy sausage, such a thin, crisp base was welcome and prevented them from being too heavy.

For our evening of trying out the pizza oven, we were asked to bring along British ingredients to add to The Actress’ veritable selection of toppings and come up with our own creations. On a last minute trip to Mornington Crescent’s pitiful Sainsbury’s during my lunch break, pears were the best I could do, but it turned out than thinly sliced and mixed with Castel Blue and some fancy ham (can’t remember what kind), they were a brilliant topping for pizza (pictured above), softening and beginning to caramelise in the 320 degree heat of the oven.

It seems it was the day for fruit pizzas with fellow blogger Jassy bringing along figs to be combined with fennel salami for what had to be my favourite pizza of the evening.

Pizza aside, the décor was along the lines of its sister pubs, relaxed, modern and not too ‘wanky-gastropub’, and beers include several of their own from the microbrewery at The Florence. The Actress will definitely be a local favourite in no time.

The Actress,

90 Crystal Palace Road,

East Dulwich,

SE22 9EY

Opens 12pm, Monday 20th September.

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10 Responses to “The Actress – East Dulwich”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    Great write-up – I think I was too busy smoking fags and I missed the fig pizza. Yours was my favorite of the night, I think.

  2. apicia Says:

    Much as I like Capital pubs, do we think it is a good thing that they are taking over South London?

    The food at the Victoria is undoubtedly lovely, but the Wishing Well that was there before was a proper old fashioned pub, with a billiard room and a proper pub quiz that had questions about hurling in the sports round.

    Seems a shame that to save a ten minute walk to the nearest trendy gastropub with mismatched furniture, we have to sacrifice something lovely, that was genuinely a local place for local people, not the spawning thirty something invaders who seem to range through London like a swarm of locusts.

    I’d like Peckham still to be Peckham when I’m old please, not another bloody Wandsworth.

    • laurafleur Says:

      The last thing I want is for South East London to get all Clapham on us, but I still reckon that’s pretty unlikely to happen.

      While I would agree that Capital do tread a fine line between wanky and proper local, I think in The Victoria and The Actress particularly, they get the balance just right by having individually thought out menus rather than identikit food and brewing much of their own beer.

      It would definitely be a shame if they totally took over South London though, its the lack of boring chains that I like about this area, but in addition to non-capital favourites like The Royal Albert, Jam Circus, The Amersham Arms and the legendary Montague Arms (as well as a few in Nunhead and The Talbot which I’m yet to explore), I find their pack of pubs to be a welcome addition to the area.

  3. apicia Says:

    Let me know when you’re doing Nunhead and I’ll join you for a jar.

  4. Helen Says:

    I think I also missed the figs! Damn. Oh well a very fun evening and I loved your pear version.

  5. crashwilliams Says:

    A great pub with Pizza (and not a million miles from the Victoria) is the Gowlet Arms on Gowlet Street – great pub with stone baked pizzas. Also, worth checking out for Sunday lunch is the White Horse – top of Rye Lane – don’t be put off by the outside, this is a proper Irish pub serving the best Sunday lunch in Peckham, Nunhead or ED>

  6. pizza fulham Says:

    Pizza is not really bad for you because it has grain,cheese and tomato sauce. these are normal healthy things but depends what kind of pizza it is.

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