Darlinghurst is an area in Sydney that’s famous for eating. With little cafes lining up their streets, it’s pretty hard to pick-out places that might be just good from places that could be great. Ana took me to the Mad Pizza Bar (Ans, maybe you can start considering a life of a culinary tour guide!). This place had a black interior with wood, glass and blackboards…a touch of modern and traditional at the same time (from hanging lights to a stag’s head). Apparently, they hire a DJ on some nights to play in the bar while people eat their pizza.
Being in Australia made me want to eat and drink things that locals drink…and so I got a glass of Lemon-Lime bitters. The drink was served to me with an obvious separation of top and bottom. It had a reddish liquid at the bottom and a clear soda on top. The bartender told us that it was simply made out of lemon, lime, soda water and Angostura bitters (Oh wow! I color my chickens with A. bitters!). It was fragrant and tasted somewhat flowery. The smooth soda was pleasant and made the drink so refreshing. Angostura bitters is made up of secret ingredients that only five people know about in this world (Yes, that is a fact and its on Wikipedia!) . As I found out in the coming week of trying different, already bottled and instant lemon-lime bitters…this was the best one since they mixed it themselves.
Okay so the most important parts — the pizzas! They were nicely presented in wooden cutting boards with a bowl of salad on the side. This was definitely something you would see at Delicious Magazine…and for Mye and I who have been wondering why their food looks so good…well, I think I’ve found the answer — the produce is perfect…so you don’t need so much magic tricks, complicated presentations and hours of sorting to get something beautiful in this place (places more pressure on Filipino food stylists this way). Alain Ducasse’s fresh products philosophy is what works here in Australia…everyone seems to be applying it.
The side salad each pizza came with is a rocket salad with onions, cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette. The rocket was just too overwhelming for me to eat the entire bowl but it was pretty good.
Fungi with Truffle : The crust was thin and crispy with little air pockets creating a fabulous texture. The pizza was topped with mushrooms, rosemary and shaved Parmesan cheese and was anointed with a little truffle essence. I tasted a little too much oregano and rosemary on some parts but it was okay. The simplicity of this pizza is what makes it so delightful. The cheese and mushroom create a soft and chewy contrast with the crust. While the mixture of cheese, mushroom and truffle essence creates a slightly rich pizza with a great bite and spice coming from the baby rockets. The acid from the small layer of tomato sauce balances everything out.
Rosarina : Is a potato and rosemary pizza. Yes it works! They used a light pink potato, most likely a “Desiree” kind. The potato is thinly sliced, has garlic paste and feta cheese. The potato creates a great texture, it is thinly sliced and not mushy at all and it tastes mild and creamy. The feta cheese creates a crumbly texture with and salty flavor enhancing everything that is on top of the pizza. The rosemary and herb gives it a more fragrant dimension that is enhanced by the garlic. I never knew starch on a pizza would be so great!
Polpette: My first experience of a Boccancini. This kind of cheese is a fresh mozzarella and is creamy and light. This is a more typical pizza but done nicely. The meatball has a lot of basil on it, and the tomatoes are sweet, naturally. Peppers give a slightly sour hint. This is something very usual for me so I guess it couldn’t really stand out from the other two.
Overall I enjoyed this place because I was introduced to a pizza with potatoes as well as a place with a really good crust. This is a must for a thin crust lover like me!