Laghi’s Deli, Edgbaston

We’ve gone Italian again. Apologies. We blame the January-induced need for comforting carbs. Before we start, we’re prepared to admit we got this wrong and should have gone to Laghi’s for dinner. We’d read the hype, sampled the coffee, enjoyed the doughnuts, but never eaten a proper meal, so we were excited.

The dedicated lunch menu felt a bit limited but at £8.95 for one course and a soft drink it was pretty reasonable. There were two pizzas on offer as part of the lunch deal – pepperoni and margerita – however, there was a guy tucking into a lip-smacking pizza at the next table who looked like the happiest man alive. We wanted what he was having, so went off-piste and onto the dedicated pizza menu which was a superb offering that included all the classics plus some more inventive options such as truffle and mushroom.

We settled on Italian Flag consisting of buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, parmesan and pesto (£11.95). The base was gnarly and blackened in the way you just can’t achieve at home whatever searing temperature you crank up the Rangemaster to and the topping was generous and moreish. A pizza from the top drawer for sure. It’s possible to pimp-up your pizza by stuffing the crust with ricotta and black pepper for an extra £2. We didn’t, but could be interesting.

Meatballs in tomato sauce were fine, but not wow inducing. We’d imagined a flavoursome bowl of spaghetti with juicy meatballs and rich tomato sauce. In fairness, the menu didn’t promise pasta with the meatballs, we just assumed. Never assume. We actually got a bowl of good meatballs in a decent tomato sauce with a couple of slices of average bread on the side. Not bad, just not what we expected.

Our lovely waitress was quick to recommend dinner next time and having looked at the menu she was right. It’s really interesting with daily fish specials that ensure maximum freshness, delicious sounding pasta dishes and inventive ways with meat including a particularly intriguing lamb chop dish with spinach pie that we need in our lives. Owner Luca is hugely passionate about this place and there’s a lot to be celebrated. We’d head back at lunchtime for the pizza alone, but cannot wait to sample the dinner menu.

Laghi's Deli, 22-24 Islington Row, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1LD. Tel: 0121 455 0660