Introducing ACE PIZZA
If you’ve ever been to our Hackney pub the Pembury Tavern, there’s a good chance you will have tried our much-loved pizzas. But they've never had a name: until now.
Say hello to ACE PIZZA, the all-new look for the classic New York-Neapolitan style pizza you know and love at the pub.
Here’s a little bit more on the how ACE came to be, why we're launching now, and (most importantly) how you can get your pizza fix through our brand new app.
Introducing ACE PIZZA
ACE PIZZA launched over the weekend alongside our Five Points On Tap app and takeaway service, which helps get the full selection of pizza, plus Five Points beer, wine, soft drinks and more to you in the comfort of your own home.
Hungry for more? Here’s a little bit about the history and inspiration behind ACE PIZZA from Executive Chef Rachel Jones, who’s spent the last few months prepping the menu and ingredients, and giving the brand the makeover that’s been long in the works!
I set up my first street food company in 2012: back then, it was called Capish? – an Italian-American kitchen serving meatball sliders, beef braciole and other classics you’d find in the streets of Little Italy. We were part of the first wave of the London street food scene, initially cooking at markets and events, and then later moving onto pop-ups and residencies. We really did it all.
That’s how I came to meet Five Points Co-founder and Managing Director Ed Mason – he asked Capish to take over the kitchen in one of his pubs in 2013. We then served food at the very first Five Points open day at the brewery and continued to cook for yard parties at the brewery’s warehouse in Hackney every summer.
When Five Points took over the Pembury Tavern back in 2018, Ed asked me to run the kitchen. The Pembury has had a great reputation for pizza for a long time, and we very much wanted to continue that. It was all about being a low-key neighbourhood spot that serves really great pizza – the kind of place where all the locals go to eat, but one that still stays a little bit under the radar.
Over the eight years running Capish I’ve cooked a lot of Italian-American food, but until Ed got in touch about the kitchen at the Pembury, pizza was something I only really made at home.
Anyone who knows me will know I’ve always been pizza obsessed (I even gave it a mention in my high school yearbook!), so running the Pembury Tavern’s pizza kitchen felt like a natural progression for me – to start developing a new menu and translating a lot of ideas and recipes I already had into pizzas.
What’s the food like?
ACE’s menu is a combination of institutional favourites like the Marg and Double Pepperoni, and then some more modern variations on things that are a bit more reflective of London eating. I think my background in sandwiches definitely inspires me when thinking up new menu ideas. Ultimately, each pizza on ACE’s menu is all about maximum flavour and high-quality ingredients.
We put a lot of time into developing the vegan side of things and really wanted the meat, veggie and vegan pizzas to all hold equal footing on the menu. We make a lot of plant-based toppings in-house, like our vegan nduja and cashew-based ricotta.
Our dough is also very important to us. Each batch is slow-fermented for between 48 and 72 hours, which means it’s lighter, more digestible and carries really nice complex flavour. We purposefully designed the base using a biga starter – a process used in traditional Italian baking. The biga helps make the dough super crisp and light. Much better for drinking beer with!
The original inspiration came when I was in New York, where there’s this great culture of neighbourhood pizza joints. There are loads of unassuming family-run hole-in-the-wall takeaways that serve really great pies. The name ACE PIZZA is an irreverent nod to those kinds of NYC joints, as well as the generic takeaway names of the ’80s and ’90s. The ones that all start with the letter ‘A’ so they appear first in the Yellow Pages.
Since launching at the Pembury Tavern with Five Points, we’ve worked really hard to refine the menu. We’ve tried and tested lots of different ideas and are now really happy with our product. Obviously, with the pub being closed to the public during lockdown, the current crisis has been a real catalyst for relaunching with a focus on takeaway.
Coronavirus didn’t just force us to think on our feet and pivot our service to try and keep reaching our regulars, it actually gave us the time to start thinking about what ACE PIZZA would look like as a brand in its own right. And that’s not the sort of thing you have much time for when you’ve got a pub full of hungry customers.
We’ve always been here to serve the local community in Hackney, and it felt frustrating that we couldn’t do that for a few months. But with the Five Points On Tap delivery app now live and the kitchen back open, we’ve been able to develop a way to serve beer and pizza to our locals again!