"I lufe-a sfeen's svedeesh peezza. bork. bork. bork." - The Swedish Chef.
So begins the website menu for Sven's Viking Pizza. Yes you read right, Vikings apparently eat pizza.
Mr NQN's colleague just given him with a slice of this Viking pizza and he was a fan of it from the first bite. So on Mr NQN's tastebud's recommendation, Queen Viv, Mr NQN and I head there one rainy Summer's night - Valentines Day to be exact but let's not stand on ceremony.
We walk in and it's dimly lit with candles and it's busy. On the right are individual tables and on the left there is a large wooden communal table made of a thick, nubbly wood. Mr NQN's Scandinavian heritage comes out and nods his head in quiet approval. On the wall there's the plushest reindeer skin - it had to be felt to be believed as it's plusher than any other hide we've stroked.
Reindeer skin - has to be touched to be believed!
There is a Swedish armour next to it and a shield which I rather foolishly mistake for a lighting fixture before medieval studies student Queen Viv points out that it is a shield. The menu has a selection of "Swedish Classic" pizzas including toppings such as rib eye with bearnaise, a doner kebab pizza topping and then there's a section with meat, fish, chicken and vegetarian pizzas all with names representing pieces of Norse mythology. Pizzas come in two sizes: 11inch and 13 inch and half and half pizzas incur a surcharge of $2.50.
"Crumpled" water glasses
We sit down and watch as other tables are brought their meals. The pizzas are huge and thin crusted and the salads are platter sized. We elect to order three half and half pizzas so we get to sample six toppings. When we ask the waitress about the most popular topping she answers with certainty-the #1 aka the "Frö".
Left: #1 Frö - Worshipped as a male fertility god and Right: #3 Embla- The First Woman on Earth $28
The Frö is topped with beef eye fillet, bearnaise sauce, mushrooms, onion and black pepper. The bearnaise is strong with tarragon and the whole pizza is tasty indeed although it has to be said that for people who usually adore steak with bearnaise and savour it in a fine dining sort of atmosphere, it is a little strange to be eating it on pizza. Not strange in a bad way but just a bit strange. The bases it has to be said are perfect - thin but never wet or weighed down by the toppings.
We ordered the #3 pizza, the Embla which is the first woman on earth whilst the #2 pizza which we didn't order is called the "Ask" aka the first man on earth. The only difference between the Ask and Embla is the sheaf of lettuce on top. Queen Viv doesn't like this pizza at all and doesn't quite understand what they're trying to do with the giant pieces of lettuce. Mr NQN prefers the version without the lettuce and although I agree that perhaps the #2 is a better choice, I don't mind this as it's like eating a Doner Kebab pizza although admittedly I find the large lettuce leaves too hard to eat with decorum.
Left: #13 Midgård - The World of Humans and Right: #4 Yggdrasil - The World Tree _ $28.50_
Our favourite pizza is the ambiguous to pronounce Yggdrasil. There are garlic and chilli prawns, pancetta, roma tomatoes and chevre goat's cheese. Absolutely gorgeous, it's full of garlicky, spicy fresh prawns and a pancetta that combines well with the garlic to give it a chorizo flavour. We had to rearrange some of the toppings on the pizza as not every slice has the goat's cheese and one piece has no pancetta or prawn on it. This pizza has us smacking our lips and looking for more.
The Midgård which is the old Germanic term for "the human world" features thinly sliced chicken breast, pancetta, avocado, pineapple and red chilli. Mr NQN finds this a touch too dry but I like it as the chicken is sliced thinly and there is avocado and pineapple although I'd like a bit more avocado on it. The chilli flakes do not impart much heat.
#17 Idun The Goddess of Spring and #15 Asgård - The World of Gods $26.50
I adore smoked salmon but from we know that this is different from the other pizzas. The base is dry like a cracker and whilst the topping of Tasmanian Smoked salmon, avocado, spanish onion and dill creme is delicious, it's like eating it on a giant slice of cracker which isn't very pizza like at all.
The Idun is the vegetarian choice with fresh baby spinach, semi dried tomatoes, field mushrooms. avocado and artichoke. It's rather good and is Queen Viv's second favourite choice of the evening. The semi dried tomatoes are lusciously sweet and gorgeous. One thing that we noticed that whilst it says on the website that all salads are served with the healthy Swedish Pizza Salad, made from crisp Savoy cabbage leaves but we didn't get any of these nor did we see any other tables with them.
Swedish Kladdcake $9.50
Like good children, we've made room for dessert. The Swedish Kladdcake is similar to a chocolate mud cake. It is a rich but slightly dry on the outside chocolate cake. It's paired with Streets Blue ribbon vanilla icecream.
Creme Brulee $11.50
The creme Brulee is more eggy than creamy and there is a faint crack on top but the raspberries accompanying it are just the right balance of sweet and tart.
Log stools, Swedish armour, shields and reindeer skins help complete the whole Swedish Viking pizza experience and even as they're about to close, eager people wander in seeking their own version of pizza Valhalla.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite pizza topping and how do you like your base?
Sven's Viking Pizza
364 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9389 33939
Also a location in Coogee for Pick up and Delivery
Friday lunch special: $15 all pizzas with a drink