Zero Degrees Blackheath
31/33 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath, SE3 0TJ
020 8852 5619/zerodegrees.co.ukPizza and beer? Well why not- the Americans and Italians have been doing it for years and Zero Degrees has being serving up hungry Blackheathers with their signature pizzas and brews since 2000. The restaurant is named after the meridian line that runs through Blackheath and sits right on the heath with easy train connections to the 02 in Greenwich and into town. I have been invited to review and by the time I have wended my way down from north-west to south-east I’m feeling hungry…Zero Degrees sells 800 pizzas a week but their real USP is the microbrewery that sits to the rear of the restaurant. It’s computer run and turns out 3000 litres a week. The amber nectar wends its way from the mashing tank to the filtration tank and finally to the fermentation tank. That’s enough tanks to invade Lichtenstein and there are 5 brews going on at once with fermentation taking 4-6 weeks. In the interests of research my guest Catherine, who can sink a couple of beers if her arm is twisted, and I tried all five of them so here are our tasting notes: The Pilsner was a classic of its type, crisp and clean and made with Czech Saaz hops. The White Wheat beer was fresh and yeasty. Black lager was full of chocolate and coffee notes but surprisingly light. For me the Mango juice beer was a little too fruity. I love the tropical flavours that can be achieved through the appropriate choice of hops but the juice addition made it too sweet for me. The Special Vienna lager was hoppy but not too bitter and the award winning IPA had some of those mango and lychee notes that I crave. Enough about the beers already. How did the food shape up?Gorganzola and mushroom gnocchi (£5.50) were light and fluffy but could have done with a bit more bite in the Gorgonzola department. A selection of four Crostini (£7.50) came with parma ham, goats cheese, marscapone and smoked salmon, and the classic tomato toppings. They worked well with the beers and would be a great option if you wanted more of a snack than a big meal. We had to try a pizza cooked in the wood-burning stove. If anyone is looking for an excuse to give me one of these sexy beasts it is my birthday next week….!We chose the Margherita (£8.50) which in its purity and simplicity is probably the hardest pizza to get right. It had a good crust, though there could have been a little more char for me, and achieved that miraculous fusion of tomato and cheese that sets taste buds alight around the world. Black Truffle Raviolini (£16.50) grated Parmesan, sage and butter sauce was the best dish of the night for me. The pasta was smothered in a delicious buttery cheesy truffley herby sauce. If you want anything more than that then you’re just plain greedy. The desserts we chose had the twist of being served on pizza bread which made them quite substantial- you may want to share! Caramelised Fig & Marscapone Pizza (£5.25) combined the sweetness of the figs with the creamy Marscapone and contrasted with the nutty crunch Pecan Pie with salted caramel pizza (£5.25). Sometimes in your life pizza and beer is just the ticket. Zero Degrees is a very straightforward unpretentious kind of place that is perfect for family or work parties, groups of friends or hot dates. Portions are generous, there is plenty of room, the service very friendly and trying all the beers from the microbrewery will guarantee you hours of fun.