I’m staring in awe at what looks like a pizza that’s been left in the oven too long; it has a jet-black, charred-looking base, offset by the vibrantly-coloured veggies on top. Is it actually edible? Apparently, yes; new pizzeria Zia Lucia, on Holloway Road, offers dough made with vegetable charcoal, which is fermented for 48 hours, and has ‘digestive, gas-absorbing capacities’, as it hilariously says on the menu.

The locals certainly seem to enjoy it; when my boyfriend and I arrive, the place is packed, even though it’s only been open a week. It’s the kind of neighbourhood joint you dream of: warm, friendly staff, a warm, friendly pizza oven (they’ve nicknamed theirs ‘Dante’), buzzy atmos, and food made with top-quality ingredients.

Zia Lucia offers four different types of dough, including gluten-free and wholemeal, and after sharing the tagliere [£12] - a platter of ham, salami and cheeses (including a deliciously melty Gorgonzola) – I brave the sooty Ortolana [£9.50], topped with courgettes, aubergines and peppers. Thankfully, it doesn’t taste burnt at all; but it does have an intriguing depth of flavour, which contrasts nicely with the fresh veg.

The boyf tucks into a Nduja [£8.90] on wholemeal, which he pronounces ‘filling and really nice’, though the spicy sausage nearly takes the roof of his mouth off. The dessert pizza [£6] has a Nutella-stuffed crust (yum!) with sliced fruit on top, and drinks include beers from nearby Hammerton Brewery, as well as some damn fine prosecco. Magnifico!

Food: 7/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Value for money: 8/10