COSMIC PIZZA: COSMIC BY NAME…

Whilst pizza seems like quite a straightforward dish – essentially a dough base smeared with tomato paste and topped with a combination of cheese, meat and veg – I can’t be the only person who is regularly underwhelmed when I dine out on this Italian staple. Surely delivering up a non-soggy, topping-crammed pizza is not tricky for a half talented chef. Yet I can count on one hand the number of decent pizzas I have consumed in UK restaurants over the years, and so it was with a sense of mild trepidation that I visited the West Hill Tavern to sample their Cosmic Pizza menu.

Cosmic Pizza Brighton

CENTRAL PUB WITH A LOCAL VIBE

I must admit to never setting foot inside the West Hill Tavern before. From the outside it looks like a large pub and, if I’m honest, I always found it a little intimidating in the past. However, once inside I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a cosy vibe and feels like a local boozer, despite its central Brighton location. An atmosphere enhanced by the fact that it was quiz night when hubby and I visited on Wednesday – staple evening entertainment for a true British pub!

The West Hill Tavern, Brighton food pub

Welcoming interior

Management of the pub has recently changed and they haven’t followed the fad for stripped back, minimalist furnishings. Dark wood furniture and deep green velvet banquettes create a snug feel, but it doesn’t feel dark and stuffy. I expected one cavernous room, but the bar provides a natural split into two smaller areas and we were ushered away from the excitable quizzers into a comfy corner.

The West Hill Tavern, Brighton food pub
Owners at The West Hill Tavern

TEMPTING TOPPINGS

With a name like Cosmic Pizza I was expecting something out-of-the-ordinary (sorry!) and the menu didn’t disappoint. This is not your typical pizza offering. The common-or-garden Quattro Formaggi and Hawaiian (pineapple has NO place on a pizza, in my opinion) are replaced by the intriguingly named, music inspired Sgt Pepperoni’s Heart Club Band and Sorry Miss Jackfruit.

Brunch Pizza at Cosmic Pizza Brighton
BBQ Jackfruit Pizza

Tasty topping combinations also step away from the norm: who knew that pulled BBQ jackfruit existed, let alone was a worthy addition to a pizza? Two meat options; two vegetarian options and two vegan options make for a succinct but perfectly rounded menu, and all very affordable with prices from £8 – £10.50.

Table setting at Cosmic Pizza Brighton

LET’S GET PIZZA’D

In addition to the evening menu, there’s a rather unique Bottomless Brunch pizza menu, which must be a first for Brighton. On Saturday between 11.30am & 3pm order any brunch-inspired pizza – Shakshuka gets my vote – and enjoy two hours of unlimited seasonal mimosas, prosecco and frozen marys (a Bloody Mary slushy for the uninitiated). That’s a future Saturday catch up with my girlfriends sorted!

Cosmic Pizza Brighton Brunch Menu
Brunch Pizza at The West Hill Tavern

COSMIC BY NAME …

We snacked on large, deliciously creamy olives until our pizzas of choice arrived. First impressions were favourable: the toppings were plentiful, there was a good coverage of tomato paste and the lightly singed crust showed proof that it had been wood-fired. The Moroccan-themed Baa-Baa-Rella boasted a mouth-watering toppings list of lamb, apricot & pomegranate sausage, goats cheese, roast butternut squash, harissa labneh and zhoug (I had to google it too!)

Moroccan inspired Pizza at Cosmic Pizza Brighton

The goats cheese was creamy and melt in the mouth; bit sized chunks of perfectly cooked squash provided texture. The lamb, apricot & pomegranate sausage meat was subtly sweet and inspired my butcher husband! On the cured meat laden Meat Thyme, ribbons of mortadella and prosciutto lay draped over spheres of fennel & thyme salami. Slithers of pickled red onion and jalapenos tucked under the meat slices provided a tingle on the tongue.

Finally, pizza that was pleasurable to eat, without a soggy base or a stuffed crust in sight!

GO NUTS FOR DO-NUTS

I’m not usually one for a post-pizza dessert but couldn’t resist sampling the (vegan) do-nuts. Buttery and non-greasy, sprinkled with sugar & (secret ingredient) orange zest, and just the right size to fit in your mouth in one go. Yes – I tried. Everything you could possibly want in a donut. Served warm with a slightly chilled, tart raspberry dipping sauce.

OMG. If they offered these to take away I would be jogging up the hill from my office in my coffee break on a regular basis!

If, like me, you’ve steered clear of pizza eateries in the past, then I would highly recommend a visit to West Hill Tavern. It ticks all the boxes for an affordable midweek night out: a buzzing venue, friendly staff and that illusive, perfectly cooked pizza. Now, let’s get back to the pineapple or no pineapple debate…

West Hill Tavern in Brighton

See the listing for The West Hill Tavern Brighton