There is an identity crisis at large in La Vera. Its name and signage suggest Italian, as does the pizza oven to the left of the till, but there is more at play here. The smell is the biggest giveaway, the waft of smoke that hits you as you open the door, somewhere between malfunctioning car and burning flesh, creeping over from the right where an old man turns skewers of lamb and chicken over charcoal. And then the crowd; packed to the rafters at 1pm with I’m guessing eighty, maybe hundred covers, all tucking into the same four meat dishes with chips, rice, or bulgar. I count four pizzas being eaten in total. La Vera – translation “the truth” – needs to be a little more honest about the type of food they serve.

It’s not that I have anything against the idea of doing two styles of food, especially when the Arabic influence of wheat, nuts, and fruit can be felt all over Sicily and Puglia, but narrowing it down to pizza and kebabs is a curious business model. It seems like the primary use of the the pizza oven is to make the bread for the dips; a smooth hummus so laden with tahini it becomes cloying like dental putty and a good moutabal that makes up for the lack of smokiness with a warming heat of raw garlic. The bread from the pizza oven is pizza dough. It lacks the mobility of a flatbread.

We order from the grill. Omar has the lamb meshwa that requires a tree axe to carve through the tough meat, whilst I had the opposite issue with the chicken kofta. The meat is gummy, arguably a little undercooked, and I leave over half in fear of shitting myself over the weekend. Chloe gets the sea bass. It’s the best choice. An entire fish for just £13.50, accurately cooked and full of charm. She finishes it all whilst bemoaning the lack of wine.

We drink smoothies that aren’t quite as we ordered, someone else picks up the bill, and I don’t know what else to add other that I’m not sure I’d rush back, or even go back. Seabass aside I can think of two dozen places off the top of my head I’d rather go for Middle Eastern or pizza.