Restaurant review, K Bar and Grill, Ipswich: “Pizza and craft beer - you know it makes sense”

The Percy pizza Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

The Percy pizza Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis - Credit: Archant

We tried out the newest place for pizza in Ipswich.

The Harvey pizza Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

The Harvey pizza Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis - Credit: Archant

Food

I wrote a feature a month or so ago about the launch of the new stone baked pizzas here. I was told by the owner they’re made with top ingredients, formed with a base of slow-fermented dough, and fired at around 800C to crisp perfection. So I went to check it out post-work with some mates last week.

The menu’s pretty concise. A handful of burgers in various incantations, some salads (including one that piqued our interest with its topping of halloumi fries) and a medley of pizzas – from the veggie friendly Mary, to curry-flavoured Dev.

Beers racked up, we were ready to crack into our pizza pies. They certainly looked impressive. All bubbly edged, puffy and charred around the edges (a little too charred in Nicola’s case) with a super thin base that crackled and oozed with topping as you bit into it. Lovely job.


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Mine – the Harvey – was I have to admit a bit slick on top with oil, but that was the nature of this beast, which was adorned with San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, nduja sausage and salami. At home I would have popped a paper towel on top to mop up the grease – but my friends thought that was weird! There was no doubting the quality of the ingredients here. The mozzarella tasted pretty fresh and creamy, the sauce was sweet with a hit of pepper, and the meats surpassed anything you’ll find on a high street chain pizza. Spicy, salty crumbled nduja from southern Italy. Hot pepperoni. And, my favourite, a thick-cut, dark, powerful salami which had almost beefy undertones. Nice one.

Lisa’s pizza – Percy – listed pulled pork and streaky bacon frazzles as its topping. And we almost wet ourselves when we saw it literally had those tuck box favourite crisps crumbled over the top. There was real bacon too, and smoky, soft pulled pork. It really shouldn’t have worked should it? But there’s no denying the snack brought a little something extra to the party. My kids would go nuts for this one.

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Veggie Nic stuck with a humble Rita (that’s a Margherita to you and me). It was a tad too black in places for her on the bottom, but she enjoyed the uncharred bits a great deal and thought all the toppings and the base tasted delish.

These pizzas are beasts in size, but nonetheless we ploughed on and finished with the bar’s only dessert – the Ella pizza, doused in Nutella and finished with cream and berries. Initially we thought the top was burnt, but that was just a crunch from where the hazelnut chocolate spread had caught and caramelised. The others dived in greedily and polished it off with aplomb but it didn’t really do anything for me. I was too pizza’d out. Again, my kids would love it and I’ll have to bring them back to try it as a pre-cinema treat.

Drinks

We were offered a wine list and when we asked about beers were told about the regular pints on the pump. I already knew the bar had a relationship with Hopsters over the road and stocked craft beers but I had to ask about them. A shame as these should be a real selling point here. The selection available was great. I had the sour Peaches Beaches which was initially a bit too sharp, but mellowed with every sip, giving up juicy stone fruit ripeness and cutting through the grease of my pizza nicely. Nic stuck with Peroni. But Lisa (not a beer drinker) took on our server’s recommendation of marshmallow porter Stay Puft from Tiny Rebel (whose cherry beer I adore). It was a mouth-filling, soft, vanillary can of yum, whose dark-as-night colouring was at odds with what was really a smooth, light, creamy, almost sweet beer.

We were offered tea and coffee after our meal, but there was no decaff coffee and a very limited selection of tea – served builder style in a mug with a teabag in. No biggy but I’d kind of expect a bar like this to have a better range.

Service

We weren’t sure whether to order at the bar or wait for table service (there were no menus on tables). But once we did get served the guy who took our order was relaxed and friendly, giving advice on the craft beers, making recommendations and checking back to see if we liked them. He did go above and beyond to make us feel comfortable.

Location and parking

Smack bang in the middle of St Nicholas Street and there’s paid-for parking opposite.

Accessibility

Seating space is tight on the ground floor so if you have access issues call ahead to see if you can book a table.

Price

Spot-on. For the size of pizza and quality of ingredients used we thought this place worked out better value than any of the chains. Three pizzas, one dessert pizza, three beers and three teas came to just under £50.

Highlight

I’m going to say my pizza, the Harvey. The salami on top was phwoar.

Summary

It’s not without its niggles. The ordering process wasn’t clear, and they need to make so much more of their selection of craft beers. But the pizza was undoubtedly the best you’ll get in Ipswich and the surrounding area. The bases are as good as any I’ve had in Italy, and the toppings were well balanced in flavour.

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