My Mother’s Cousin – Bexley NSW Restaurant Review

As a disciple of New York City food videos and pizza in general, My Mother’s Cousin has been high on my list of restaurants to visit for a little while now. Moving to the vaguely inner, vaguely South, vaguely West of Sydney has finally given me opportunity to go. As someone who’s never been to New York and whose only New York style pizza has been a single slice of Marinara from Frankie’s back in 2017 I really had no idea what to expect, and probably thanks to my partner’s choice in pizza I still don’t know what to expect, even having been.

I am grateful for my partner arriving at the restaurant before me, and ordering pizza so that I could inhale it and make a mad dash to the other side of the city for my night shift. Her choice of pizza was the Snag-a-Relli ($27), a 13-inch pizza with fior di latte, “pomodoro” which I think is just Italian marketing speak for tomato, Italian sausage, Smoked housemade “MMC” sausage, parmigiano reggiano, and pickled Jalapenos. It’s not what I would’ve chosen, but I sent her with no instructions, and again I am grateful.

This pizza, if not the Platonic ideal of the New York City Slice™, was still a pretty good pizza. The pizza was highly moist with a structure that didn’t quite stand up to it, resulting in some drips and some sagging of the very thin base of the slice on holding. This sagging was aided by the superior, top-heavy topping to base ratio, with plenty of toppings on board for maximal (but not supra-maximal) flavour. It reminded me of the meaty pizza with Jalapenos that my mum would order from Domino’s or Pizza Hut Wentworthville back in the early 2000s – though I think in the context of their last fifteen years of health kick (metabolically they’re doing great for their age) I don’t think either of my parents have had pizza in a very long time. Despite these comparisons, MMC’s Snag-a-Relli was a decidedly elevated adventuer over the old $5-with-coupon deep dish pizza (more bread for the same money!) from back in the day.

Having said all of this nonsense, my overall feedback is that the Snag-a-Relli is a good pizza, and well topped to boot. I particularly liked the texture of the sausage topping (it remains unclear at this point which pieces of sausage were Italian and which were Martian), which I felt was quite moist, as well as its taste, which I found to be not too salty (frequent readers of this blog will understand that this is quite a compliment from me). I don’t know that I would even change anything – it’s just not what I wanted in my mind, but did not convey with my words to my partner.

The hot honey with parmigiano reggiano wet wings ($12 for 6) was our other pick. They were my consolation prize for not being able to have the hot honey and pepperoni pizza, but sadly not as good as I expected. I felt that the honey was sweeter than I would’ve liked, and I was also surprised that “hot” meant warm rather than spicy. My partner enjoyed these wings, and I must admit that perhaps part of why I wasn’t so enamoured by them was the rift between expectation and reality.

Pretty good. I also like that they have separate handwashing facilities inside, because they know you’re going to make a mess. Can recommend.

My Mother’s Cousin
9 Shaw St, Bexley North NSW 2207
0410 913 335


The Tart Sisters – Ashfield NSW Restaurant Review

We actually loved our brief visit to the Tart Sisters, which is so next door to Ashbury’s 3 Tomatoes cafe (it’s literally the same building but in a different suburb?) that I initially thought it was the same establishment. This review will start as a review of our first visit, but will inevitably roll on as we continue to go and go and go.

The tart sister inside called us “kids” which was a bit odd but not a bad feeling, considering my partner and I are considered adults by most modern metrics.

My partner wanted much, but after a full meal at 3 Tomatoes I stopped her from ordering more than just this slice of carrot cake ($6), with a promise that we’d return. And what a slice of carrot cake it was. This above photo is a pictoral representation of the single best piece of carrot cake I have ever had. The complex, moist, nutty consistency of the cake was divine, as was the healthy and generous serving of cream cheese filling. I still can’t, thinking back to when I ate this a month and a half ago, wrap my head or tongue around just how perfect this was, and I must encourage all non-anaphylactics to try this right away.


This brioche with jalapenos, tomato, and cheddar ($6) had strong school canteen energy, even though I don’t think our high school ever sold those mini pizza things in particular – we were more of a McCain pizza pocket school. The bread was of course soft, and the jalapeno imparted a nice tanginess, but I couldn’t help but feel something was missing, as an obligate omnivore at this vegetarian bakery. Overall not bad, but imagine if there were some ham or pepperoni.

The mushroom and cheddar tart ($6) is also vegetarian. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything with meat at their bakery. Anyway, this was not bad either, but honestly neither of their savoury pieces were as good as their sweet pieces.

I really quite enjoyed this apple and almond tart ($6). I went from someone who didn’t know that frangipane existed six months ago to someone who absolutely loves it. Even though the apple and frangipane was a bit sweeter than I would have liked, the whole thing was just so buttery and delicious, with an excellent crust, that I can still recommend it.

This dark chocolate and raspberry brownie ($4) was dense, with an enjoyable raspberry swirl. Yum.

COMMENTS: On serial review I have come to believe that their sweet offerings are superior to their savoury offerings, unless you’re someone who wouldn’t miss a lack of meat anyway.

The Tart Sisters
117 Holden St, Ashfield NSW 2131
02 9716 6998


Fratelli Pulcinella – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Fratelli Pulcinella really makes you question the difference between a ‘sit-in restaurant’ and a ‘takeaway only pizza shack but feel free to sit in our extensive backyard with undercover seating and tables, but don’t call us a sit-in restaurant’. Our visit came after a strong recommendation from our friend and local baked goods oracle CRN (née CRE), who had hired them to cater for their wedding.

Their operating model, at least on our afternoon visit between two stroke calls at the local quaternary referral centre, seemed to be extremely hands off, with the backyard pizza kitchen completely unpopulated when we arrived, staff being summoned from within the presumably air-conditioned confines of the house by an online order placed by phone. It honestly seems like a highly efficient and comfortable way to work.

We will start with a description of the Vesuvio ($30), a double layer pizza of tomato, ham, mushrooms, italian sausage, mozzarella & parmesan cheese. The flavours were good, with a saltiness erring to the saltier side of things. The base pizza structure was good with good foldability as well as long-lived crispness of base, though I’m not sure that I’m fully sold on the double-layeredness of it all. I don’t know that it really added anything above and beyond what could be achieved by a conventionally structured pizza, nor did an extremely cursory web search of the history of double layered pizzas in the Neapolitan school really turn up any useful results.

The Funghi ($20) with truffle mushroom pesto, mushrooms, mozzarella, rocket, garlic & chilli oil was a rare vegetarian pick for us, but not one that we regret. The dominant earthy flavour of mushrooms was matched well with the freshness of the huge amount of rocket layered on top, though neither my partner nor I were able to pick out any hint of chilli flavour (although on review of the photos whilst writing this post I do see some red spots). I again enjoyed the extreme thinness of crust, which held a great crispiness, even if it did sag under the generous weight of the cheese on top.

OVERALL I agree with the general opinion that Fratelli Pulcinella offers the best pizza in Parramatta at this time – though to be honest it’s not a high bar given its main competitors have been Bondi Pizza and the recently-deceased CicciaBella, a restaurant for which I had not published a review until now because I didn’t want my site with three monthly readers to be blamed for their inevitable downfall.

Fratelli Pulcinella
44 O’Connell St, Parramatta NSW 2150
0420 667 296


Pizza by Pietro – South Nowra NSW Restaurant Review

These guys are completely slept on. They operate a RV-cum-pizza-restaurant out of a small yard in sleepy South Nowra, and make authentic, Neapolitan pizza to a standard not achieved within 75km radius. A couple of nurses at work recommended to me the BBQ chicken pizza at other nearby “Woodfire” restaurants, and while I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t gone and don’t have any plans to go, just a chart review of the menu and online images from these places tell me that they could not possibly be as good, at least for what I’m looking for.

The Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza ($23) was an oily and umami delight. The dough was perfectly light and airy with a nice chew to it. The fior di latte, parmesan and olive oil base was quite greasy, though as discussed in the 2004 hit romantic comedy Along Came Polly, the grease was perhaps the best part. The toppings were basic but effective, with a good texture and juiciness to the porcini mushrooms and a tenderness to the asparagus. Overall a good pizza, my partner’s favourite of the two we had, though I personally preferred a more meat-forward alternative.

Enter the Sausage and Italian Spinach ($21), with a beautiful san marzano tomato base and flavourful and meaty Italian pork and black pepper sausage. Each bite was full of flavour, and my partner and I did though about stopping but did not stop at a reasonable limit. We ate way too much pizza in our car on the side of the road.

Comments: Strong recommend, a slice above “normal for Nowra”

Pizza by Pietro
45 Hillcrest Ave, South Nowra NSW 2541
0467 939 838


The Imperial Hotel UP – Erskineville NSW Restaurant Review

Navigating and parking in the tiny Inner West streets is one of my least favourite things to do in Sydney, but an unavoidable experience if one wishes to drive to Erskineville’s Imperial Hotel’s weekly drag bingo night. While I could attempt to write about the activities and entertainment of the night, I fear that I would be underqualified to do so and must therefore refrain. I will tell you about the food instead, paid for by one of my senior colleagues.

My boss was pretty sad about these heirloom tomatoes with preserved lemon ($12). They are exactly as pictured – about one or maybe two tomatoes cut up into slices topped with little slivers of lemon. In their defence, they were extremely healthy.

The Parmigiano-reggiano ($10) also made my boss sad. It is also exactly as imagined. Also fit my macros so no complaints from me.

I thought that the Prawn pizza ($26) with san marzano tomato, garlic, chili and parsley was a bit light on flavour, but overall not bad. The ratio of prawn to pizza was quite reasonable though not above and beyond, and the flavours were enjoyable if a little mild for my taste.

The Salumi pizza ($26) with San marzano tomato, salami, ‘nduja, italian sausage, fior di latte was really good. I think I probably have a bit of bias for pizzas with salami or ‘nduja, as it’s rare for me to meet such a meaty and spicy pizza and not like it. Each bite of this pizza was an explosion of taste, owing to the good distribution of toppings throughout the pie. The italian sausage was moist and juicy, and the ‘nduja great for that extra kick of spice. This was a pizza done well.

This is a woodfired bread ($10) with extra virgin olive oil that I didn’t eat.

This is a margherita pizza ($18) that was on the wrong side of the table for me to eat. I could not reach it, but I was very happy with the salumi pizza right in front of me.

Some of the pizza was quite good, but I suspect it’s not their top attraction.

Imperial UP – The Imperial Hotel Erskineville
35 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville NSW 2043
(02) 9516 1766