Restaurant Review #3: Pizza Pomodoros

June 1st

My youngest brother celebrated his 25th birthday at Pizza Pomodoros in Knightsbridge, or perhaps his 26th.

I got there 2 hours early because I like to become acquainted with the fire exits as well as picking the best seat at the table. Pomodoros is a bizarre restaurant. It is located down a small staircase, through a smaller doorway, off a wealthy avenue lined with shisha bars for the innumerable Arabs who reside in that area of London. The road has been labelled ‘Bankrupt Row’ given the amount of failed ventures which have come and gone, presumably because of how expensive it is to park nearby. If I was to think about it deeply, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Arab eating a pizza.

I say it was bizarre because every surface in the restaurant, including the menu, is plastered with photographs- photographs of the owner grinning moronically whilst standing next to a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities. It wouldn’t be presumptuous to conclude that he invented the selfie. One gets the feeling that you have walked into a dungeon of worship created and curated by a poor chap plagued with a variety of mental illnesses. It reeked of desperation and garlic. “Welcome to Pomodoros, you probably aren’t important enough to have a photo with me, but enjoy the pizza, and I’ll enjoy your money”. I wondered if he charged any of the celebrities that had been there, the amount of which seemed endless if the photographs were to believed. Its rare that I feel that inferior so early on in a meal, especially before any of the other guests had arrived. I ordered Meryl Streep’s favourite wine to get the bad taste out of my mouth- the menu is filled with celebrity recommendation and endorsement. Al Pacino ate this. Micky Rourke ate that. Micky Rourke also ate that. Frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fettuccine.

My brother showed up on time, and with him, my sister. Two of his friends joined later. My older brother arrived 45 minutes late which is characteristic of our personalities; I have a strong grasp of clocks which he lacks. Once we were all there we started a game called find-the-celebrity: you chose a celebrity from the multitude of photos on the walls and the other guests had to find them. I went for Wesley Snipes, a slippery character at the best of times. Half way through the searching however, I realised that it was not Wesley Snipes at all. I quickly changed the subject back to the menu before anyone noticed the gaffe. I didn’t imagine it would go down well with my wonderfully diverse company.

For starters we ordered the cheesy garlic bread and the bruschetta. I had an epiphany — one was a pizza without tomato, and the other was a pizza without cheese. I wasn’t sure if I felt aggrieved or inspired. We ordered real pizzas after containing both tomato and cheese and they were not thrilling. This was somewhat rectified by the entertainment. A large lady, a cross between Mel B and Adele, took to the mini-stage with an odd looking gentleman, dressed like a medieval peasant, who appeared to be playing the piano off his laptop. Half way through her set of half-classics, half-clangers, she forced my brother to get up and dance with her. If the genders were reversed there would have almost certainly been a case for a sexual harassment. But alas, this is the world we live in. I gave her a tip which oddly seemed to cause her extreme bother, until I realised I had just put a coin in her drink.

When the bill came we split it evenly, and I suddenly I realised why I had arrived early. I’d had 2 more drinks than everyone else, and now they were pitching in unwittingly. Genius. As we left I saw a purple carpeted stairway behind a burgundy velvet rope. This must have been the VIP dining area where Mr Pomodoro entertains his special customers. I can only assume that he serves them different food up there.

“Wait a minute, did you think that was Wesley Snipes there? Because that’s Denzel Washington”

“No he’s here, keep looking”