Da Vinci’s out in Summer Hill are doing a charcoal pizza. No, that’s not pizza cooked over charcoal; the charcoal has actually been mixed into the dough itself. So it comes out black. It’s good for the digestion, apparently.
Israeli flat bread
Okay so it’s not technically a pizza; it’s a flatbread. But when you slice circular flatbread into triangles and put stuff on top, it’s hard not to compare the two. The bread is made in-house and is soft, thick and puffy – almost like a focaccia, but charred. They do them a few ways, topping them with lamb in one version, but we love it dusted with za’atar and dressed with big dollops of thick, creamy goat’s labneh.
Manoosh in Enmore is a beloved institution in the Inner West. They do regular-style pizzas, sure, but it’s their Lebanese pizzas you need to pay attention to. They sprinkle the dough with za’atar and top it with things like haloumi, tahini, veggies and even falafel. Plus you can get Lebanese dips like hummus, tzatziki and babaghanoush to dip the crusts in. And can we talk about the haloumi pie? Picture it: a heap of melted haloumi encased with pastry and sprinkled with fragrant sesame seeds. Now that’s a hangover cure.
Salt Meats Cheese make a lobster pizza where the dough has been kneaded with squid ink to give it a rich, black hue. Among big hunks of lobster meat are melty fontina and fior di latte cheeses, garlic oil and thyme. Apparently the chef came up with the idea while he was making squid ink pasta, realising too late that he’d put the ink into the pizza, rather than the pasta, dough. And Salt Meats Cheese’s signature dish was born.
The Swedish approach to the Italian fast food includes the ‘Frö’: it’s topped with beef eye fillet steak and béarnaise sauce. They also do two types of kebab pizzas, topped with doner kebab meat and salad. Ask for a complimentary ‘Swedish pizza salad’ on the side: it’s the Swedish version of American slaw, with cabbage tossed in vinaigrette rather than heavy mayo.