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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pizza Mario, Surry Hills

 The Sydney Pizza Festival (8-28 July, 2013) is a showcase of the top authentic Italian pizzerias in Sydney and first under the microscope is Pizza Mario (417-421 Bourke Street, St. Margaret's Complex, Shop 9 Ivy, Surry Hills). Shyly tucked away off Bourke Street at the quiet intersection of Church Lane and Little Bourke, the Napoletana styled (fluffy but crispy, 1cm high edge crust) Pizza Mario serves three different types of traditional pizzas. They offer the usual Neapolitan tomato based pizzas (pizze Rosse), a variety without the tomato sauce known as 'bianche' and 'calzone', which is essentially a folded pizza. Matty T. becomes the third wheel to the Berny & Patty tricycle for the night and although it may not show on his face, there is no doubt in my mind that he couldn't be more excited to be stuck with us for the night.

Sweet Vespa

 Once inside, you're greeted with the kitchen area and the wood fired oven towards the back where the magic happens. Two meat slicers are the ends of the front counter to freshly shave aged prosciutto
and pancetta onto the pizzas. Matty T. is instantly impressed by the wood fired oven as our noses reluctantly follow our feet to the dining area.

There's no messing about for the pizza from
the oven to the counter

  We sit down and are welcomed by the super friendly wait staff and handed our customised menus for the night. Throughout the Sydney Pizza Festival each restaurant provides the deal of a pizza from the menu + a choice of beer/wine/soft drink for a measly $20!

 Matty T. grabs a glass of 2011 Zaccagnini Montepulciano D'Abruzzo and Patty opts for the 2010 Zaccagnini Bianco di Ciccio both which went down really well with the pizza. Being the designated driver for the night, I reluctantly sip on my lemon lime bitters through the cardboard straw that matches the table cloth.

Red, Lemon Lime Bitters, White

 All the pizzas were available from their menu and I had eyed the Margherita 'Extra' down instantly because buffalo mozzarella and I are best buds. Patty feels like some pancetta and we pick the prosciutto for Matty T. as he is still in awe of being that missing corner to our triangle.

 The pizzas came out in record time and we begin with the only one of our Pizze Rosses (red), Margherita 'Extra'. Definitely the most traditional combination of all pizza toppings and they did a wonderful job of focusing mainly on the quality of the tomato sauce and pizza dough which is how it should be! The pizza base is transformed into the softest flour based bed with tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella all sleeping on top. Super tasty and it hits the spot on all levels, makes me consider raising my own buffalo in the backyard right next to the pizza oven.

Margherita 'Extra'
Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato & Basil
Try not to get lost staring at the buffalo mozzarella

 The first of our two Pizze Bianches (white) is the 'Pancetta'. Covered, but not overpowered by the three cheeses, this pizza was vibrant and full of flavour. The dough itself is soft and flavoursome throughout the pizza, even to the edges meaning no gross crusts. My only suggestion is to eat it quick, before it gets cold!

Mozzarella, Ricotta, Fresh Tomato, Thyme,
Pancetta & Pecorino Cheese

 The second of our Bianche pizzas was the 'Speck e Fontina'. A simple combination of three toppings, two cheeses and one meat. The fontina cheese gives a distinctive nutty taste through the entire pizza and the freshly cut, paper thing slices of prosciutto on top just made it that much better. It reminds me of a tray of bacon strips from 'Epic Meal Time' slapped onto a delicious pizza. Sorry Mr. buffalo mozzarella, I know we're best friends but I think this was my favourite of the night.

Speck e Fontina
Mozzarella, Speck (smoked prosciutto) & Fontina Cheese

 We finished off the night with some Gelato Messina which had two amazing flavour specials of the week in 'C is for Cookie' and 'Twixed' (sorry no photos, we munched it too quickly) which went down well with the customary 'Tiramisu' scoop. A great night for the tricycle with Pizza Mario doing a fantastic job in kicking off the Sydney Pizza Festival for 2013. I've got some more pizza lined up in the next few weeks so hopefully the following experiences will be just as good!

Bunny Rating-
Category: Pizza Festival

Pizza Mario on Urbanspoon


  1. i love the look of that margherita extra pizza. went here a couple of times years ago and i loved the food at the restaurant :)

  2. Pizza festival! looks great, will have to try it some time. cheers :)