Whilst the tourists may not readily stumble across Oscar and Rosie’s tucked away off Hotel Street, I encourage you to visit this hidden gem that has recently opened its doors. Found on Market Place in Leicester, it’s the type of restaurant that has to be discovered, which makes finding it feel just that little bit more thrilling. Entering this beautiful Grade II listed building with stripped original wood flooring and bare brick walls feels exclusive.  With its Private Eye covered wall, I imagine that this is the type of the place where the Breakfast Club may have hung out, if they hadn’t all landed Saturday detention, but then again….

(I digress.)

Photography by James Hisset

The chalkboard menu, which overhangs the open kitchen, boasts a number of delicious sounding meat and vegetarian pizza options. Their friendly chefs are more than happy to make anything gluten free.  Plus, they have a dirty secret. They care about vegans! The result being that up to 70% of their current menu can be made vegan friendly. I took several minutes trying to decide which quirkily named pizza I should select, as they all sounded so good.

The other wonderful thing about Oscar and Rosie’s is that everything is seeped in provenance. From the unique pizza names inspired by friends and family, to the artwork on the wall that has been created by an artist who works in the kitchen. Everything is personable, and warrants a conversation. After a brief chat with the funny and charismatic owner, Olly Hunter, I settled on ordering his favourite pizza ‘Meat Sweats.’

Photography by James Hisset

Although a meat eater, my least favourite pizza is the meat feast. Whilst the name of the pizza may vary from establishment to establishment, the meat quality often remains the same, which quite frankly is poor.  With this in mind I tentatively waited for my pizza.

I picked a slice and as I took my first hot and steamy bite, I grinned. It was delicious! The fennel on the pizza wafted a lovely aniseed aroma under my nose, and all my worries vanished.

Let me start from the base. It was perfect, not too thick. I felt the crust complemented the pizza slice rather than acting as a bit on the end you have to abandon so as to not fill up to quickly.  Oscar’s special tomato sauce on the base was flavourful and as for the toppings, everything screamed fresh. The meat was moist, juicy and tender and I loved the black pepper seasoning which gave a sharp pungent peppery taste to the pizza. It was so good I simply had to try a couple of individual slices from the counter. I particularly enjoyed my slice of the ‘magic mushroom,’ which had a generous splattering of mushrooms offering a firm texture and savoury earthy taste.

Photography by James Hisset

I could go on to tell you all about their selection of hoppy beers or describe their macaroni cheese offerings, but I must wrap up. They say you learn something new everyday, well today I learned that there is only one place I will ever recommend people go for a meat feast pizza, and that is Oscar and Rosie’s. Based on their fearless use of herbs, seasoning and fresh produce, I have no doubt that their vegetarian and vegan offerings are just as good as their meat pizzas. In my opinion, Oscar and Rosie’s deliver pizza, as it should be.

Tamara O’Donovan is a food buff and wine enthusiast. Having managed multiple fine dining restaurants her standards are high. She spends her time seeking out new exciting restaurants and independent eateries.

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