Review: Aromi in Cambridge

Thursday, 9 February 2017

If you're in Cambridge and want pizza without having to go to a big chain (there's a Jamie's Italian, a Zizzi, a Carluccio's and a Bella Italia scattered around the city centre) then you really need to check out Aromi! They're an independent Italian cafe, split across two sites in the city centre but only 2 doors away from each other. The larger one, with a bigger serving counter, a larger seating area and takeaway ice cream at the front, is on Peas Hill next to Cambridge Art's Theatre. The smaller one, which I went in to, is on the corner of Peas Hill and Bene't Street, two doors away!

The main thing to remember about the smaller branch of Aromi's is that it's tiny! The doorway gets
Delicious margarita pizza!
very crowded very quickly, and I've never actually seen a free seat in there at lunch time, even though there's a slightly larger basement seating area as well as the more obvious ground floor one. But this doesn't matter as Aromi pizzas come as a takeaway, so you don't have to hang around waiting for table space!

I keep mentioning pizza but actually Aromi, which specialises in Sicilian food, does sandwiches, arancini (fried rice balls) and desserts including ricotta cheesecakes. They have a selection of toppings for the pizzas and fillings for the sandwiches, and also do hot drinks including proper Italian hot chocolate (the really thick kind). Everything is made fresh, if you walk past in the morning you can see them working on everything as the kitchen is wide open, with the windows facing the street.

Should you managed to find a table then your food will be brought to you. If you're buying to take away then you'll be given a raffle ticket with a number on it. Once your order is processed they'll call your number, you collect your food, and then try to squeeze back out the door!

The thing I love about Aromi is just how good the pizzas are. The dough is fresh, the tomato sauce tastes like it's from an actual tomato, and there's great lumps of mozzarella scattered across the margarita. Everything is set out under the glass-covered counter, and once you pick what you want they cook it in their wood-fired oven right then and there. Rather than a circle the pizzas are cooked as a rectangle, and the toppings go all the way to the edge. At an average price tag of £4 you may think it's a little expensive for a slice of take away pizza, but they really fill you up so you won't be able to eat a second slice (although you'll really want one!)

If I have one small complaint about Aromi, it's that the paper bags they use really don't keep your slice warm for long :( If I'm taking mine back to the office, which I occasionally do at lunch, then I always have to reheat it in the microwave.

But a microwave can't stop these being so tasty. I think I'm going to have to go back again...

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