Published: 06:00, 10 June 2021
| Updated: 08:48, 10 June 2021
As with many things in life, I often find the idea of takeaway pizza much better and more nourishing than the reality.
You work hard all week, eating your required fruit and veg, but knowing that on Saturday evening there will be nothing between you and a Hawaiian (don't judge me all you ham and pineapple haters out there), with a stuffed crust.
Sure, the first few slices are amazing - a cheese and carb oasis if you will - but by the end you find yourself battling on, the thick dough and greasy meat feeling like a rock in your stomach.
In the morning, while fetching your fourth glass of water, to combat all the salt from the ingredients, you glare at the stacked empty brown boxes, and say to yourself "why did I think it would be different this time?"
This has been my experience with global chains such as Domino's and Pizza Hut, as well as other more local companies, but I was excited to try the offering from Ashford's Unita 4.
I hoped to find an eatery that satisfied my Saturday-night cravings for delicious pizza, whilst not being too heavy and stodgy.
Unita 4 is a pizza and pasta restaurant based in the town centre at Elwick Place leisure complex.
It opened this April, with outdoor seating, but now, thanks to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, is serving diners inside as well.
The restaurant, which is pronounced Unita Quattro (When I rang I just said "Unita 4" - don't make my mistake), is being led by head chef and restaurateur Damiano Vecchio, and also does takeaway.
We opted for takeaway as, after all, we're busy people and have important things to do, like watch Superstore.
Surveying the menu at home, so many of the options sounded wonderful and perfect for sharing in a group (alas there were only two of us).
Starters on offer included warm buffalo mozarella, marinated grilled courgettes and cherry tomatoes as well as olive bread bruschetta with artichokes.
For the pasta offerings, I was tempted by the trofie dish, with basil pesto, fine beans and parmesan.
In the end though I went with the homemade olive focaccia bread served with olive oil for a starter, which cost £3.10, and the piccante pizza, with tomato, mozzarella, Italian chorizo and gorgonzola cheese, which cost £9.50.
I tried to order from the restaurant's website but was told the store was not taking orders for collection or drop-off.
However, when I rang up I was able to put my order through and was told the food should take a speedy ten minutes.
Shoving on our shoes we raced over to Elwick Place. The plaza in the middle, which the other units circle, was nearly empty, but Unita 4 was busy, with groups chatting underneath red parasols outside.
The indoor space goes surprisingly far back and there were couples and families sitting down, with waiters and waitresses weaving between tables.
There was a pleasing, relaxed vibe, with a lively hum of conversation.
It was only a few minutes before the boxes were in our and hands we made our way back.
I settled down to eat my meal, opening an already-purchased bottle of sauvignon blanc from Tesco.
Starting with the focaccia bread, the portion was generous and pleasingly thick and warm.
My boyfriend had ordered mini rice arancini balls with morarella inside. They weren't particularly extraordinary but were a good addition.
The pizza itself looked just as a pizza should- not overloaded with cheese or meat.
It was really delicious and filling. The dough wasn't too thick or too thin- as you sometimes get in pizzerias.
The meat wasn't too salty and the gorgonzola added a good kick to each bite. Even the dough on its own tasted good, a bit like sourdough.
If I closed my eyes I could just about pretend I was in an Italian pizzeria, a loud buzz of conversation and musicians playing in the plaza, rather than my Ashford flat.
And did I feel queasy and full of regret in the morning when I looked at the pizza boxes piled by the bin, as often happens with Domino's?
No, in fact, I wanted another slice.
Ratings out of five
Food: Great pizza, just what I needed on a Saturday night, without being greasy and too heavy. The foccacia was good too and generous portions. ****
Decor: I didn't have a chance to examine the restaurant too closely as I was only in for a minute or so, but there was a friendly and warm atmosphere, and the space seemed to be planned well. ***
Staff: Again, I only spoke to them for a few minutes but the food was bought out promptly and they were polite and attentive. ****
Price: £12.60 for a good-sized pizza and focaccia, which could be shared between two was very reasonable. *****