Adjacent the mayhem that is the Sydenham and Victoria Road intersection, our conversation struggles to compete with the flight path directly above our heads. The small interior of the venue jam-packed with local families and chaotic kiddos had persuaded us to dine al fresco.
If only my dinner companion could hear me better, I was explaining that Pizza Madre was a relatively new-to-the-scene Pizzeria, whose shtick was ‘locally sourced’. And they meant it.
Even my Negroni ($16) was made with Australian ‘Red Okar’, rather than the classic Campari. The flavour of the Negroni (and thought that went into selecting its alternative ingredient), was appreciated. The fact that it came premixed, was less appreciated.
The Pizzas impressed, even for a purist such as myself. I had my doubts about what clearly looked in photographs to be a Neapolitan style Pizza (is there any other kind?), being made with sourdough starter. Nonetheless, it worked better than I’d expected.
As the self proclaimed purist, I went with the Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil and Oregano ($21), and my date, the Eggplant with Black Olive, Elephant Garlic Oil and Buttermilk Ricotta ($24). This proved a perfect sample of the ‘simple’ to ‘less simple’ flavour spectrum.
Both Pizzas were produced to a very high standard, and the non-conventional methods and ingredients used only served to galvanise my appreciation further.
While some might argue Pizza Madre is a less Italian style Pizzeria, I would note that Italian food philosophy, being grounded deeply in local produce and seasonality, might suggest that this pocket of the Sydney Pizza scene is arguably more Italian than the ‘classic’ places.
It’s still no Lucio’s, but certainly one to check out in my opinion.
2/205 Victoria Rd,