For Homeslice, there's no such thing as too much pizza. The trendy London-based restaurant group is at the forefront of the artisanal dough movement in the UK, where quality cooking is the top priority.
What sets the business apart from its rivals, however, is that at Homeslice, size matters. The restaurant serves some of the biggest pies in the whole country, with pizzas measuring a massive 20-inches-plus.
If you're looking for a restaurant that combines impressive cookery with indulgence, Homeslice fits the bill.
To understand what it takes to serve some of the UK's biggest and best pizzas, and how the pandemic made everything much more complicated, we sat down with Homeselice founder Mark Wogan for an exclusive interview.
Homeslice – home of the biggest pizzas in London
London has no shortage of seriously good pizza. However, Homeslice stands apart from the rest thanks to its massive USP.
The restaurant is now part of London pizza folklore, combining size with seriously extravagant and bold topping choices. Options like lamb shoulder, cabbage and spiced sumac yoghurt, or black pudding, potatoes and Guinness braised onions prove that traditional isn't always best.
READ MORE: Bubala's head chef Helen Graham explains why there's never been a better time to eat veggie
However, beyond exciting flavours and the sheer amount of pizza, one thing is at the core of the Homeslice business model.
As Wogan tells Twisted: "Homeslice is about sharing. It's big pizzas. You come in with your friends, you sit down, you have a nice time and you share great pizza."
Despite the size of food on offer, the restaurant shies away from gimmicks such as eating competitions. Instead, the emphasis is on quality, albeit in a giant 20-inch bundle.
But, even though a 20-inch pizza is an intimidating sight for even the hungriest diner, Homeslice isn't the kind of joint where you leave with a chronic case of indigestion.
As Wogan reveals: "The thing is, given its size, it is surprisingly easy to eat. I can happily, if I'm hungry, eat a whole 20-inch pizza."
This makes the restaurant the ideal destination for anyone looking for a larger twist on Neapolitan tradition.
Making a 20-inch pizza
Clearly, creating a pizza that's nearly three-times the size of a standard Domino's requires a special set of skills. For instance, the kitchen's wood-fired ovens are constructed specifically to accommodate a bigger than average pizza base.
However, when it comes to actually building a particular pizza, Homeslice tries to avoid tipping into overindulgence. In fact, this often means that less is more.
As Wogan reveals: "It's a very thin base. We don't overload it with cheese, it's not full of fat, there's no weird stuff in the dough. What we invariably find is that someone comes in and says, 'I'll just have a slice' – and they'll eat three."
Physical construction aside, however, it's the flavours that really make Homeslice what it is. Ingredients like goat salami, air-dried wagyu beef and truffle creme fraiche are all unusual, but also top quality.
Using these exciting combinations effectively is an exact science. In fact, Wogan and his team have a clear philosophy when it comes to deciding what makes it onto a 20-inch dough base.
As he explains: "I strongly believe that you should eat pizza with your hands, because a lot of food tastes better if you approach it in that more visceral way.
"The next step up from that is a spoon. So, in terms of how we put our flavour combinations together, if those things would all taste good on a spoon, they'll work on a pizza.
"It's never about trying to be outrageous or clever with what we put on a pizza. It's just (recognising) what is a great combination of flavours."
Serving pizzas in a pandemic
It's no secret that the pandemic has been big business for the takeaway industry. To this end, Homeslice has been more fortunate than many.
The restaurant has continued to thrive throughout lockdown, pivoting successfully to a delivery-only model, while also offering a brand new "Take and Bake" cook at home service.
However, it hasn't all been plain sailing for Homeslice. For one thing, the pandemic prevented the restaurant from selling its signature giant pizzas, due to delivery constraints.
As Wogan tells Twisted: "We had to do that. Unfortunately, delivery partners do have trouble with a 20-inch pizza.
"So we developed a 'Deliveroo-sized' pizza, which is just what we do but in 12-inches. And, you know, it's still a great pizza... but there was a moment where we first went into lockdown and we said, 'our business is essentially about sharing – we may not have a business!'"
Despite the difficulties of lockdown, Homeslice has come through with flying colours. In fact, Wogan concedes that the experience may well have taught him some important lessons about his customers.
As he reveals: "One of the things that came onto the menu that we'd never done before...is a garlic bread, because it's quite popular on delivery. It was always just the pizza, that was it, thank you very much."
Now that restaurants are reopening, Homeslice can finally get back to doing what it does best. However, it's a valuable lesson for all of us that, despite the horror of the last 12 months, there are still things that we can learn from the pandemic.