Pizzeria Castello

Seafood Salad

The Pizzeria Castello was a deservedly popular pizza restaurant at the southern tip of the Elephant & Castle. Not only were their pizzas delicious, everything on the menu was as cheap as chips. When Time Out Magazine named them as one of the best pizza restaurants in London, the owners could have let this go to their head and upped their prices; instead they made extensions to their premises and doubled their seating capacity. Sadly, this London institution closed its doors for the last time in October 2006. Work began on the Strata Tower, where the restaurant once stood, in 2007.

Elephant & Castle

Strata Tower

Jamaica Road, Rotherhithe

Sometime later, the Castello restaurant popped up on Jamaica Road, within easy walking distance of where I live. Its provenance however was shrouded in mystery. A neighbourhood paper claimed that it was owned by a local businesswoman (most likely Eren's wife, since Eren and his wife owned more businesses hereabouts than anyone else). The former owners of Pizzeria Castello issued a flat-out denial that they had any connection whatsoever to this new upstart. Yet I myself am quite sure I recognized a number of staff working there from the old restaurant; they even wore the same uniforms. The food was cheaply priced, and the menu, presentation, and portions were identical. One case in point was their seafood salad: an extremely simple, undressed salad made with quality thawed mixed seafood, which you dressed yourself using the bottles of oil and red wine vinegar at your table...just as one did at the old pizzeria. I swear they were the very same bottles.

Tesco had no frozen mixed seafood in stock (surprise, surprise) when I came to make this, so I had to cobble something together with bits and bobs from my freezer. It wasn't as nice. By the by, though the restaurant on Jamaica Road proved popular with the locals, it never rose to the success of its predecessor, and it closed some years ago. 

Serves 1 as a main; 2 as a starter or a side for sharing.


3 large leaves of romaine lettuce, torn

1 stick of celery, finely sliced

1/3 of a carrot, grated

a few slices of red bell pepper

1/2 a tomato, sliced

1/4 of a small red onion, finely sliced

salt and pepper

125g frozen cooked mixed seafood, thawed

a good drizzle of olive oil

a good splash or three of red wine vinegar



Tear the lettuce leaves into small shreds, place on a suitable plate, and sprinkle with a little salt. Add the rest of the vegetable items from the list and sprinkle with a little more salt and some pepper. Arrange the seafood on top, and chill until ready to serve.

Dress with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

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Did you know?

You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series:

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