The Gowlett: Pizza in Peckham

April 15, 2010


The Gowlett

The Gowlett is a pub that does pizza and it takes me all of a few minutes to walk there from my house. The combination of these three facts pleases me. The pizzas are by no means perfect – the toppings are sometimes a bit too generous for my taste (even I can only eat so many capers in one mouthful) and the crusts completely shatter at the edges. They also, without fail, manage to burn one bit of crust on every pizza. Bit annoying.

That said, I keep going back. It’s never taken me more than ten minutes to eat one. The slender base is silky for the most part with just the right amount of cheese and tomato and the toppings are simple and tasty. At £8, they are dicing with the pricey side of things but are clearly taking advantage of their proximity to neighbouring posher bits, East Dulwich and Bellenden and for now at least, getting away with it.

I suppose I’ll have to write a sentence about how the pizza compares to Franco Manca, which is all anyone is talking about right now. I’ll sum it up for you: The Gowlett would definitely lose in a fight, but they still hit the spot if you’re in the area. A light and airy pub; plenty of seats; well kept beer; friendly staff and decent pizza. I like. It’s only a matter of time though, before I storm into that kitchen myself and have a look at just why they burn every single pizza, on one edge, every single time. A local pub is all about community innit? Well, I’m about to go and get a little more involved…

The Gowlett
62 Gowlett Road
London SE15 4HY
020 7635 7048

Gowlett on Urbanspoon

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    Reply Chris April 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Yeah there is WAY too much rocket on that last pizza. I’d eat the pepperoni and chilli one though, that looks nice.

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    Reply Mike Laurie April 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    The Gowlett is my local too, I’m on Adys road. This is pretty dear to my heart so a couple of things in its defense:

    The landlord Johnny has recently promised to get a larger oven. I think the one they use is on its last legs and, put simply, they’ll make a tonne more money if they can make more pizzas. The burned segment thing started about a year ago and I swear its been getting worse recently.

    In addition to this they are ‘renovating’ the place. By this he probably means a lick of paint and a change of urinal cakes. Nonetheless, it should be an improvement.

    Also, they are starting a delivery service. One really nice thing about this is that it will all be on bikes i.e. push bikes. This means no disturbance to neighbours, 0 carbon etc etc. They’re also going to be doing pizzas via Twitter, which I believe is a first (MY IDEA!)

    He recently sold the Nun’s Head in Nunhead. Buying it in the first place was a bad move and always meant he was dividing his time between the two places. Hopefully this should mean more attention for the Gowlett.

    They tend to be so hit-and-nearly-hit (never miss), but I agree there’s room for improvement. But there’s certainly a rustic charm to them.

    Finally, how about those organic wines and the excellent ales? I crave the Adnams they have there, great stuff. The missus is a big fan of the fizzy rose they do.


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    Reply Carlo April 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I’d guess they don’t bother to rotate their pizzas once they’re in their oven and they’ve got a spot that’s hotter than the rest. Seems pretty simple — even I know when I make pizzas in my home oven that I’ve got to rotate them a bit as the very back part of the oven is hotter than the front. The pizzas look fairly tasty but those large burnt bits are really unappealing!

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    Reply Su-Lin April 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    omg, the crusts look just like those on Roman style pizzas (they use much thinner crusts than the Neapolitans [aka Franco Manca style] and the edges go crispy). I want.

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    Reply Lizzie April 16, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Bellenden! (I am SUCH a child)

    I am a massive caper fiend so I heartily approve of the amount of capers in the opening pizza, even if you do end up with a puckered mouth. I think you should troop on in there and shout “no more burny bits!”. Lovely pictures.

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    Reply Jonathan April 16, 2010 at 1:42 am

    You’ve got to love pizzas that disobey the plates they are served on, by refusing to fit! Nice.

    But woooooo that caper badger looks scarily salty. And I like salt.

    This has made me mourn the loss of Cassius. But from his ashes, will I hope, spring Phoenix. Stay tuned.

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    Reply Ollie April 16, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I agree with Chris – the pepperoni looks lovely, but there’s far too much rocket. Great colour to them, though.

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    Reply mina April 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    that first pizza looks pretty intense. so many ingredients!

    …and i am in love with your header.

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    Reply Sharmila April 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I’m going to leap to the defence of the rockety pizza (The Gowlettini). I’m wary of anything with a ton of rocket on it, but that pizza works, even with that much greenery on it. It’s my default choice whenever I go to The Gowlett.

    You’re right about the inconsistency – it’s been a bit more up and down over the past year, but I still think they’re good, and a cut above most pizzas you would find in a pub.

    The Gowlett is also my favourite local and has been for years. Bar staff are friendly, the vibe is nice, and it also does Lucky 7s on Thursday nights, which gives me the opportunity to drunkenly attempt to play some records to a group of (potentially) appreciative locals.

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    Reply Hand To Mouth April 25, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve heard good things about the pizza here – thats not too much rocket for me – those bad boys are making me hungry…

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    Reply hengki budi prasetyo April 26, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I am from Indonesia, South East Asia. My town where I live is Bekasi 20 km south of Jakarta.
    I like pizza with cheese topping and beef. In my country pizza is one of favourite foods choice for week end.

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    Reply Ros September 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I like pizza with cheese topping and beef! I love the Gowlett Pizza!

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