Team Edition headed to this relative newcomer to the Mill Road landscape to put its pizzas to the test
Having to spend any longer than a few seconds at the crossroads between Devonshire Road, Kingston Street and Mill Road is normally a source of frustration: you’re either queuing behind a driver who doesn’t realise they technically can’t turn across traffic to get to the rail station, or you’re six-deep in a flock of bicycles waiting for a break in cars to speed off into the city centre. But as of late last summer, there’s now a much better reason to linger there, or even make a special trip – as we did on a cold night in the first month of 2020.
Once Golden Curry, briefly the red-painted-and-seemingly-perma-closed Ony’s, following eight months of renovation, 111-113 Mill Road became Scott’s All Day back in August 2019. It’s a cafe by day and pizza place by night, and is fast becoming known as a bustling weekend brunch spot.
Between Wednesday and Sunday, the afternoon and evening menus flip to offer an array of stone-baked pizzas, all hand-stretched to order and made with an 11-year-old sourdough starter created by Fitzbillies, arguably the most well-known bakery in Cambridge (and former employer of Scott Holden, the eatery’s eponymous owner). Every pizza is created from scratch by the restaurant’s pizzaiolo and flashed in the extreme heat of the building’s purpose-built oven before arriving at the table as soon as each flat feast is ready.
“It’s fast becoming known as a bustling brunch spot”
Choosing names linked with people and places seems to be big at Scott’s. For our meal we picked the two meaty pizzas styled after the restaurant’s neighbours on Mill Road: the Culinaris – a tomato base with parmesan, basil and mozzarella, topped with rocket and chilli oil, and smothered in ‘nduja and mangalica sausage sourced from the deli of the same name that’s found a few shops further town-ward; and the Mill Road Butchers pizza, promising a tomato base, mozzarella, basil, spicy Sicilian sausage, mushroom and red onion, dubbed after the butchers based directly opposite Scott’s. If you’re a vegetarian, have dietary requirements or simply not a fan of meat-based pizzas, worry not – there are four veg-led pizzas on the menu, and vegan cheese and gluten-free bases are also available on request.
The drinks list is led by more local heroes: award-winning brewers Calverley’s creations, made just a few hundred feet away as the crow flies, are available on tap with a ‘Keg of the Moment’ that changes regularly – alongside Bourbon-spiked hard shakes, classic cocktails, colourful cans of beer from across the world and a neat but well-formed wine list – pretty much ensuring there’s something for everyone. And as the menu says, if your favourite cocktail’s not listed, just ask and they’ll do their best to rustle it up.
As the pizza-people set to work on the main events, our starters arrived at the table: three large breaded bites of macaroni cheese with a spicy cheese dip as an accompaniment and anchovy toast, another trio, but this time of generously sized slices of toasted sourdough, each spread with a thin layer of anchovy cream (also sourced from Culinaris) plus bitter green olives and preserved peppers.
We cleared as much of the starters as we dared, knowing what was on the way, and our trepidation was justified: the pizzas arrived and were almost spilling over the edges of their plates, laden with toppings. Both were absolute flavour bombs, leaving us with super chewy, blackened sourdough crusts – perfect for dipping into the leftover cheese sauce that we’d retained from the starters. And though tradition dictates that pizza should be eaten with your fingers if it comes pre-sliced by the kitchen (they offered, we accepted) there’s no doubt that the cutlery definitely came in handy to ensure we made the most of every morsel – these pizzas are messy but delicious affairs.
Thinking it was only right to tackle the desserts as well, we picked a classic chocolate brownie with ice cream and were talked into trying out the special, an espresso chocolate London Fog cake with salted caramel that the newly hired chef was experimenting with – mainly chosen by us because it sounded like a noun string rather than a pudding. London Fog was new to us: for the puzzled, it’s essentially tea (normally Earl Grey) steeped, then drenched with foamed milk and sugar or syrup to make a sort of sweet tea latte-style experience. Here, the delicately flavoured dairy had been worked into a meringue and used to ice a dense chocolate cake. Both these sugar-packed treats were the perfect last hurrah, and we wobbled out on to a dark and drizzly Mill Road, agreeing that we’d been extremely well looked after and extremely well fed.
If you live in the immediate vicinity, it may interest you to know that wanting a Scott’s pizza doesn’t even require you to leave your sofa, as the venue is proudly on all major food delivery sites and says its version of a Full English – the ‘Stonker’ – is one of the most popular dishes that heads out the door by bike. Whether you’re pining for a pizza or longing for a lingering breakfast, whatever time of day you choose to head over to Scott’s bare-brick-walled eatery, you won’t be disappointed: just make sure you book a table to avoid missing out, or order it in direct to your door.