1993. Manchester United became champions of the brand-new FA Premier League. Boyzone made their debut. Jurassic Park was number one at the box
office. And Eco opened in Clapham High Street.
Since then, this legendary family-run, multi award-winning pizzeria – named after Umberto Eco’s novel-turned-film ‘The Name of The Rose’ which was then playing at the Clapham Picture House next door – has conquered every adversity. Whether its recession, Brexit and even a global pandemic, nothing has got in the way of its success. The restaurant has not only survived but thrived, unlike so many of its competitors.
Now to celebrate this milestone, owner Sami Wasif, whose passion for superior ingredients and Mediterranean style hospitality have been at the heart of Eco’s success, is offering customers the chance to step back in time and dine out at 1993 prices!
Yes, on Monday 23 October, Eco’s much-loved sourdough pizzas can be enjoyed at prices starting from just £4.50, along with other signature dishes. And throughout the whole of the month, Eco’s current menu will be replaced by the original from three decades ago.
What hasn’t changed over the years is the quality of the pizzas. No less than four different flour types are combined to create naturally fermented dough. This living, breathing organism is then left to rise in two stages (the first for a minimum of 12 hours) before being cooked at 400 degrees for around 90 seconds. The result? A full-flavoured, crispy base that is light and easy to eat.
The toppings are equally irresistible. All pizzas are baked with organic tomato sauce, created from the finest Italian tomatoes that are chosen six months in advance, the best fior di latte mozzarella, fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Proud to have given its customers a totally different dining experience for three decades, Eco looks forward to another 30 years as Clapham’s favourite eatery.
About Sami Wasif:
Sami Wasif was born in Beni Suef, Egypt, a farming town on the West Bank of the River Nile. Part of a large family, he was particularly close to his grandfather, Gerges, who, according to the Pharaonic farming calendar, was responsible for the blessing and distribution of sourdough to the local townspeople during the Spring Equinox.
After graduating from university in Sudan, Sami travelled throughout Europe and became obsessed with authentic Italian pizza.
In 1976 he moved to London and was unimpressed by the pizza he found there. Drawing on what he had learnt from his grandfather, Sami then spent years perfecting his own secret sourdough recipe. He brought all his skills to bear on his first business, the iconic Pizzeria Franco – the establishment that inspired the famous Franco Manca chain – which he purchased from Franco himself in 1989.
Under Sami and his wife Laura, the restaurant was a huge success, so much so that when the opportunity arose to build a larger eatery in Clapham Common, the couple jumped at the chance.
For three decades, Eco, has stayed true to its neighbourhood feel, still using the authentic sourdough recipe that Sami has evolved from the one he first witnessed over half a century ago in Beni Suef.