Categories
Italian

Maranello’s – Maroubra NSW Pizza Review

Back in mid 2018 my partner went for dinner with her friends from work to Maranello’s in Concord. I wasn’t invited along, but boy was I invited to listen to her talk about how good it was. I’ve recently been craving a bit of pizza, so took the opportunity to order from Maranello’s Maroubra branch. It was disappointing to say the least.

For starters, the pizza dough at Maranello’s Maroubra is not the classic kind of dough that you get at wood-fired pizza restaurants. Rather than being light and stretchy or thin and crispy, Maranello’s pizza base and crust is hard, dry, and agricultural. Eating the crust was not unlike eating a piece of high fibre wholemeal toast. In addition to this the dough had a slight bitter taste, and was overall just not appropriate for use in pizza.

The Mamma’s ($24.90) with bocconini, tomato and basil would’ve been good were it not for the base. The flavours were fresh, especially with the inclusion of thick slices of fresh tomato. If I could transplant the toppings on this pizza to a base made by any other wood fired pizza restaurant then this would’ve been a winner.

The Meat Lover’s Pizza ($23.90) was a disappointment of ham, cabanoosi, pepperoni, and beef in a barbecue sauce atop a very bad base. The toppings could’ve been good on their own (though not at all gourmet), but the bitterness from the pizza base really ruined it for me.

VERDICT

After the hype-up from my partner, Maranello’s in Maroubra was quite disappointing. A review of their Concord branch’s website shows that their pizza has the right kind of dough. So why can’t their Maroubra mothership do the same? Expensive and not good.

One lone star. Get da mario’s instead.

Maranello’s Maroubra
Pacific Square Shopping Centre, 51/737 Anzac Parade, Maroubra NSW 2035
(02) 8347 0733

Categories
Italian

Elias Gourmet Pizza – Maroubra NSW Restaurant Review

Elias Gourmet Pizza is not as gourmet as I’d like it to be.

This meal was ordered via the Deliveroo app. The headline photo showed woodfired style pizza, however what I got was vastly different to the photo.

Gourmet Meat Large Half and Half Pizza – Brabyn St Special, Kalymnos

One of the positive attributes about Elias Gourmet Pizza is that there is no significant surcharge for half and half. I had the Gourmet Meat Large Half and Half Pizza with Brabyn St Special and Kalymnos ($26).

The Brabyn St Special consists of “Beef, pepperoni, roasted capsicum, onion, tomato, jalapenos, double chilli with a side of sour cream”. It is actually quite good, nice and spicy. It would my pick of the two halves.

The Kalymnos consisting of “char grilled meat balls, bacon, fresh tomato, onion & roasted capsicum” wasn’t so good. I thought that the meat balls were dry and a bit tasteless, and too sparse to really make the pizza feel like a meatball pizza – it was rather a pizza with occasional meatballs. I wouldn’t recommend this at all.

The American Smoked Pork Ribs ($28) was actually pretty decent, both in quality and price. I would normally expect to pay $35-40 for this quantity of ribs, so $28 from a delivery app is extremely reasonable. The pork was tender and well sauced but not oversauced, which was a plus. Surprisingly much better than the pizza – perhaps Elias should rename itself to Elias Gourmet Ribs instead.

VERDICT
Not really special, wouldn’t recommend their pizza but if you have a hankering for ribs and live within the delivery radius it’s worth a go.

Elias Gourmet Pizza
55 McKeon St, Maroubra NSW 2035
(02) 9315 5575

Categories
Italian

Pepper Gourmet Pizza – Maroubra NSW Restaurant Review

Pepper Gourmet Pizza was my most recent victim after getting home past midnight after an evening shift in the emergency department.

Pepper’s Truffle Beef Pizza ($17, medium) – described as “Béchamel Base, Wagyu Beef, Wild Mushroom, Caramelised Onions, Mozzarella, Topped With Fresh Basil, Buffalo Mozzarella And Truffle Aioli” – was quite disappointing. The “Wagyu” beef tasted no different to regular strips of beef that had been cooked well done. The wildness of the mushrooms I felt did not add anything to their taste or texture, and a more friendly domesticated mushroom would not have hurt this pizza in any way. The truffle aioli drizzle was oily but was unfortunately necessary to provide an additional flavour to this cheesy greasy mess. Not for me.

Garlic Prawns

The Garlic Prawns Pizza ($18, medium) was also a disappointment. Pepper’s idea of a prawn is obviously a very small, budget style acquatic animal with little meat or flavour. The garlic sauce component of the pizza was also very mild. The fresh lemon slice was a good addition but I could’ve used two. It would’ve been better with more flavourful and robust garlic, and larger and more prawns for the price.

The Mexican Pizza ($17 – medium) doesn’t try too hard at incorporated premium sounding ingredients, but actually does what it sets out to do well. This pizza provides a good mix of flavours from its slightly spicy chorizo to its spicy and tangy jalapenos. This is the only pizza from Pepper’s Gourmet Pizza that I would buy again.

Don’t get the spicy chicken wings (6 for $9.95). That is all.

VERDICT

I would not recommend Pepper Gourmet Pizza for your next primary school pizza party, however it is in my opinion still much better than Maranello’s, also in Maroubra.

Three stars

Pepper Gourmet Pizza Maroubra
Shop 2/183 Maroubra Rd, Maroubra NSW 2035
(02) 8041 0511

Categories
Italian

Westwood Pizza – Newtown NSW Restaurant Review

I’ve had Westwood Pizza in my Google Maps bookmarks ever since it opened, but with the fear of parking in Newtown in the evening and the stories of people lining up for two hours for a pizza I delayed and delayed and delayed my visit until I could no longer bear it.

Westwood is tiny, with one pizza oven and a dining room that seats barely ten at a time. It’s no surprise, then, that they’re set up more for take-away than for dining in, with even dine in pizza served in their cardboard boxes. My partner and I were lucky enough to snag a couple of seats without a wait at the start of the night, but the vast majority of patrons were pickups with orders made ahead of time via phone. Westwood needs no help from high-cut delivery services to sell their nightly run of highly sought-after gourmet pizzas.

The Garlic and Honey Pizza ($20) was very special. Fusing together the sweetness of honey with the garlickyness of garlic (is there a better description), the spice of pepper, and the slight saltiness of the fior di latte and pecorino cheese, this pizza brings to the tongue truly novel flaviours. An original and inventive pizza, each bite of each slice of Westwood’s signature pizza excites and amuses. This pizza changed my view on what pizzas can be. The only excuses you could possibly have to miss this pizza is if you’re allergic to honey or you’re a cat who can’t have garlic.

The ‘Nduja, ricotta, and thyme pizza ($24) was our second and second favourite pizza of the night. It was a bit on the extra-flavoured side, with surprisingly spicy ‘nduja, especially given the not-so-spicy XO sauce that Westwood also sells (see below). The vanilla buffalo ricotta acted as a good milder foil for the stronger flavours of the pizza, providing a sense of balance with some bites that were not present in others. Though better than almost every other pizza out there, my partner remarked that if we had only had this pizza she would’ve had a much less rosy view of the restaurant in general.

Shifting slightly to the construction of these pizzas, I’m told that each pizza base is formed from a single-heritage wheat flour from Gunnedah, NSW. To be honest neither the geographic origin nor the pedigree of the plants that gave their lives for this pizza mean anything to me. What does matter to me and impress me are Westwood’s incredibly thin and crispy bases, that both have great mouthfeel and structural integrity. Even the crusts are delicious, especially when dipped in their Chilli XO ($4), a mild and not very spicy oil-based sauce.

OTHER COMMENTS
I’m sad that in my procrastination I missed out on Westwood’s smoked eel pizza, as that was one that I had been really looking forward to. Despite this, the offerings that we sampled were strong, and I’m happy to list Westwood as one of my top pizzerias in Sydney.

Westwood Pizza
245 Australia St, Newtown NSW 2042
0466 181 266

Categories
Greek Middle Eastern

Capri’s Kebab Pizza – Arncliffe Takeaway Review

We’ve had Capri’s Kebab and Pizza n-number of times over our numerous night shifts. Capri’s has the distinction of being open until very late most nights, late enough for us to reliably order at the end of a long night shift ward round.

The establishment itself is actually quite confusing, as it shares a location and phone number with Megabite Pizza, however there appears to be two separate menus, with Megabite providing Middle Eastern kebabs and pizza and Capri’s the Greek version.

Mixed Yiros (roll $13) – Delicious yiros meat in a wrap with hot chip, salad and tzatziki. Just what you need to keep your will to live during a night shift.

Capri Special Pide ($18) – Fresh and hot and cheesy, an unfaultable pide for the time of night.

One problem that I will point out about Capri is that they charge an additional $2 for tabouli, which, on top of a $14 charge for the base kebab is a bit steep. Tabouli is in my humble opinion an essential component of your kebab, and a $16 kebab is just too much. The other thing I’d mention is that I prefer the beef and chicken mixed kebab over the lamb kebab at Capri’s (neither are pictured). This is because while the lamb in the lamb kebab is indeed real lamb, it is extremely fatty, whereas the beef and chicken are your regular doner fare.

In my opinion Capri’s delivers a known quantity of good quality food, and is my personal pick for the night shift grind. This is not an opinion held by all of my colleagues, however, some of whom prefer Capri’s arch nemesis Adam.


Capri’s Pizza Kebab
266 Princes Highway, Arncliffe NSW 2205
(02) 8509 5889