Florios, Aberdeen Walk: Come for the sauce, stay for the memories

Restaurant review, Florio's, Aberdeen Walk. Picture by Andrew Higgins   sn123311e    14/08/12
Restaurant review, Florio's, Aberdeen Walk. Picture by Andrew Higgins sn123311e 14/08/12

In many ways, the next 500 words are pointless.

After all, you don’t need someone else to tell you how good Florios is.

You’ve been there, probably a hundred times, for work nights out or just a cheap treat out.

You’ve also probably pretended it’s your mate’s birthday for the free scoop of ice cream,

The point is, to anybody who lives here, Florios is as much a part of our lives as our seagull alarm clock.

So consider this less of a review but instead a love letter to a restaurant that for all its minor imperfections, is still somehow faultless.

The consistency of Florios is what makes it for me, I think.

You know exactly what you are going to get when you turn up, from that tomato sauce to the family of smokers outside the front door.

It never changes, and neither does your order, it seems.

With that in mind, our party of three opted for a pair of sauce-laden cheesy garlic breads to start. Just incredible.

Why Florios have never bottled that sauce and served it up in shops has mystified me for years.

Perhaps there’s a good reason that has escaped me, but they are sitting on crimson gold with the stuff.

The restaurant got voted one of Britain’s best pizzerias recently, and it has to largely be down to the sauce.

I could write love poetry to the stuff, it really is perfection in a gravy boat.

But that sauce is just the throne in Florios’ kingdom of deliciousness.

The dough. The pasta. The smell. The colours.

I know people who go there just because the draught Diet Coke is good.

People will mock the idea that a pizza parlour – which prides itself on its cheap teatime menu – could be so good.

There will always be food snobs who say quality is dictated by cost.

Florios proves that theory is utter nonsense.

Just take my calzone, for example, one of the undoubted star attractions on the restaurant’s menu.

I’ve eaten a lot of calzones in my time. Yet every one since my first bite of Florios’ sauce-soaked goliath has never come close to topping it.

But price aside, the dish is indicative of why the restaurant is so good.

The ingredients are fresh and good quality – the spinach is tasty and the ham is a million miles from that cheap, nasty stuff other restaurants think is acceptable to sparingly dump on your pizza.

My dining partner’s carbonara is, in its own way, another example of why Florios rules.

It’s not a hard dish to make. I mean, I can make it.

But while it’s simple, it’s still sublime.

A moreish dish that, I can testify, leaves him with withdrawal symptoms if he doesn’t eat it at least once a month.

And it’s that addictiveness that keeps bringing us back to Florios in our droves, not just for the food, but for that guaranteed little taste of heaven.

Between the three of us, we spent just over £50, a bill which included drinks and a round of gorgeous gelato ice-creams.

In this day and age, such value is unheard of. But Florios is so much more than just great value – it’s somewhere where memories are made.

Overall Rating: 9