Once upon a time in East London, it was late at night and we were proper starving. We were at a phase in our lives where we thought we were better than a kebab (even though no one is better than a kebab), so we searched high and low for an alternative. That alternative manifested in the form of Hackney pizza joint Martello Hall.
Upon walking in just before midnight, there were about five people there - a small group drinking by the bar, and to our left, Robert Pattinson. Yes, that Robert Pattinson. We knew right then and there that we’d stumbled into a good thing, because that guy can’t really leave the house without getting tackled by teenagers or turning into a beam of light or something. Since then, we’ve been back regularly.
Martello Hall is your classic gentrification cinderella story: ugly old boozer transformed into bright, trendy industrial-feeling space serving craft beer and wine on tap, and pizza. It’s the kind of place that works well for a casual date, a drinks meet-up, a group-get together, or - as we discovered first-hand - a late night pizza session. The kitchen’s open until midnight on weekdays, and 3 am on weekends.
Speaking of pizza, the stuff you’ll find here is quite good. Martello Hall’s pizzas are the brainchild of one of the original Pizza Express chefs, and we like to think that what’s going on here is what might have happened if Pizza Express didn’t become a chain to appeal to the masses and went all out on pizza innovation instead. Martello Hall does a very nice margherita, but you can also expect to find toppings like beetroot pesto or roasted squash and hazelnuts. A few of them may sound questionable on paper, but we’ve enjoyed all of the results.
The rest of the menu isn’t particularly worth talking about - it’s not that anything is bad, but like the werewolves in Twilight, nobody really cares about them. You’re here for the pizza, and for as much wine as you can drink from the taps in one sitting.
So if you find yourself in a similar situation, needing some casual but good late pizza in East London, then Martello Hall is your spot. It turns out you are in fact better than a kebab.
You can tell that a lot of time was spent on perfecting the tomato sauce for the pizzas, and the meatballs are smothered in said sauce. These aren’t the best meatballs of all time, but the sauce more than makes up for it.
Simple, classic, and reliable.
With squash, beetroot pesto, ricotta, hazelnuts and kale - this is not a salad. We repeat, this is not a salad. It is however, a very good veggie pizza that we recommend.
With ’nduja and chili, this is a hot and spicy pizza, and was our favorite option here, until we tried the Smokey Bandit.
Topped with potato, pancetta, potato, truffle pecorino, and rocket, we’ve seen this pizza stop a pack of hungry wolves from attacking Robert Pattinson. True story.
It’s nutella pizza. What more do you want from us?