Bloo.88 is in the pizza business or, to be absolutely accurate, pizza and cocktails. Its central feature is a gas-fired stone floored pizza oven and they do make the pizzas from scratch.
What Bloo.88 is very good at is style and atmosphere. The cavernous building has had most of the internal walls removed so it’s a combination of bare brick and banquettes although one room is cleverly papered in magazine cartoon strips.
Now I don’t get sniffy when it comes to pizza toppings. Pineapple might make an Italian apoplectic but pizzas have gone global and if you want shredded duck on top that’s fine. Actually I did.
Last time I came here I surprised myself with crispy duck pizza so I had it again. These days it’s called the Shanghai surprise but it’s a dead ringer, down to the mozzarella cheese base.
My wife had a Mediterranean. The pleasant barman warned me there was a 25-minute wait. The oven needs to get up to 300C and every time they slap a pizza on the oven floor the temperature drops. That’s a law of physics.
No matter, I thought, I’ve already ordered starters so when they bring those that’ll fill time in nicely.
It’s a pity the kitchen didn’t suss that out. It’s not rocket science. We waited and waited and by the time we were half way through the starters the pizzas arrived. Not clever.
We’d chosen chicken bites in tortilla wraps and ham and tomato bruschetta, both £4.75 and pleasant enough.
The pizza bases were very agreeable. They were thin, crisp and pliable, a decent chew and well worth the effort of being home made. The oven adds a little bit of charring to the bottoms which develops the flavour.
As for the toppings, well I could have done with a little bit more shredded duck but everything was there - spring onions, hoisin, cucumber. It just needed a little bit more oomph. My wife’s topping, goats cheese, tomatoes, spinach, garlic mushrooms, tomato sauce and mozzarella, was equally decent but just too squidgy to risk picking up a slice by hand.
Bloo.88 does salads and desserts but we finished up with coffees. They took their time, too. “I’d forgotten how to make an Americano, “ said our waitress. She had.
Where: 182 West Street, Sheffield S1 4ET.
How much: £29.40.