*They say you can never keep a pizza lover down and it's true, one week after our pizza adventure across Sydney our interest was piqued by a pizza restaurant in Meadowbank, recommended by NQN readers. Anema e Core means "heart and soul" in Italian. Here they serve 1 metre long pizzas made in their wood fired pizza oven along with salads, pastas and desserts. *
"Sorry for crashing your ladies pizza night," Nick says pulling up a chair with his friend Kevin Spacey. His friend's name isn't actually Kevin Spacey but if anyone could play the actor it is Nick's colleague and friend. And for my part all I can do is stare at him for the first five minutes after he sits down thinking, "Why is Kevin Spacey in Meadowbank having pizza?".
It's a rainy, cold evening and it was a hairy drive out to Meadowbank, windscreen wipers bashing against the glass, never quite catching up with the torrents of rain. It was less than a week after our epic pizza challenge day so clearly you can't keep a pizza lover down.
Anema e Core means heart and soul in Neapolitan dialect. At least half a dozen readers had recommended this place in Meadowbank so intrigued, we decided to make the drive out there. Christian is the young owner and pizza chef at Anema e Core - Nick gets him talking and he tells us that he is from the Tuscany region of Italy.
The restaurant is actually in two tented areas adjacent to the main kitchen where the wood fired pizza oven sits. The section we are sitting in is a little further away so we miss a bit of the warmth and atmosphere. Menus in coloured envelopes are handed to us. It's a two page menu with pizzas on one side and salads and antipasti platters on the other. The waiter reels off a long list of specials which we have a little trouble following because there are so many.
Paccheri pasta $28
The food doesn't take long to arrive. The paccheri pasta has a great texture and has porcini mushrooms, tomato and ricotta. It could use a bit more seasoning but there is no salt on the table.
Calamari and prawns $22
The calamari, prawns and green beans are crunchy and fresh and served with an aioli type of sauce. Alas there aren't many prawns (two) and Cheryl misses out in the confusion as the food arrives all at once.
1 metre pizza $65
And then it comes out, the 1 metre pizza (and we spied 1 metre pizza takeaway boxes so you can order it to go too). We chose three toppings for this pizza: a four cheese, Piccantina and Christian's Fantasy which is where he chooses the topping. I really like the Piccantina with a tomato base, fiordilatte, hot salami, basil and olive oil.
The four cheese is good but the gorgonzola isn't particularly strong and it needs some chilli oil to pep it up. The Christian's fantasy is topped with potato, oregano and an Italian pork sausage that comes all the way from Italy. The pizza base is also thicker and doughier than the other Napoletana style pizzas that we had on our pizza run and had we tried it during that day, it would have been the thickest pizza base.
Rocket Salad $13
The rocket is generously dressed with a balsamic dressing with plenty of pine nuts, rocket and shaved parmesan on the side.
We're stuffed full after the food so dessert is more a token gesture than for any sort of need. The tiramisu is strong in coffee with added whole coffee beans on top. It's light and sweet and a fittingly good end to the meal. And after a bit of liqueur we can't help but ask Kevin Spacey about how much he looks like him. "Oh yes, some people have said that..." he says while all I can think is "Really, why is Kevin Spacey eating pizza in Meadowbank and speaking in an Australian accent?".
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever forget the specials when they tell them to you or do you pay close attention? And how often do you order the specials? Have you ever had pizza by the metre?
Anema e Core
62 Constitution Road, Meadowbank 2114
Tel: +61 (02) 9809 5555
Monday to Friday 6am - 3pm; 5pm - 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 5pm - 10pm