5:27pm. Two girls shivering in the cold outside waiting for the warm looking pizza shop to open up. Girl Next Door rubs my arms to keep me warm and then we hug to keep each other warm.
I'm not even making that up. We were cold and we were hungry and when we arrive at Pizza Madre at 5:27pm the man by the pizza oven shows us three fingers indicating that we need to wait three minutes. Pizza is the sort of meal I wait for all day and from that morning all I could think of was sinking my teeth into a soft dough corner and munching away blissfully.
The pizza at Madre is somewhat different from a typical Neapolitan style place. For starters the pizza is made using a sourdough base with three different types of flours. For me, it's a bit spelt wholemeal and white. And all of the toppings happen to be plant based. It's by the same people as the vegetarian and vegan cafe Two Chaps. Unlike fully vegan pizzeria Gigi's, there is cheese on the pizzas.
The small menu changes regularly with a rotation of five pizzas, a few nibbles like olives, one salad and three desserts. And for a gluten free choice there is also a farinata pizza similar to a socca pizza made with chickpea flour. There's wine as well as simple cocktails to go with your pizza. You do want to get there fairly early though as it is a small place. The set up isn't really conducive to wanting to stay and linger too.
Smoked mozzarella, tomato, basil, pregano pizza $21
Girl Next Door wants to try their version of a margarita that it is topped with smoked mozzarella balls with tomato, basil and oregano.
It has a good distribution of mozzarella on top although she does note that the tomato isn't quite as cooked down as it is at other places.
Portobello, oyster mushrooms, black garlic, Bay of Fires cheddar and sage gremolata $25
While the margarita pizza was fine, we both much preferred the second pizza with portobello and oyster mushrooms, black garlic, Bay of Fires cheddar and sage gremolata. There's a hit of umami from the mushrooms and cheddar which is a nice element for a non meat topping. The black garlic actually gives this pizza an unexpected sweetness and Girl Next Door and I both really enjoy this.
We spied the farinata flatbread pizza going to the table next to us and the two girls confirm that it's a goody so we order one (just for research ;) ). It's a rosemary chickpea base topped with roast cipollini onions (sweet, small onions), radicchio, portobello mushrooms and buttermilk ricotta. Out of the three pizzas we liked this better than the margarita but not as much as the mushroom pizza. The base is a bit oily but the flavours are excellent and the radicchio well balanced so that its bitterness is not too pronounced.
Kouign Amann $12
Oh my kingdom for a Kouign Amann. I still remember the first time I ever ate one. I looked across the counter at Laduree in Paris and ordered something that looked like a buttery sticky bun. The staff tried to steer me towards a macaron or something pretty but I wanted pastry and after that, a kouign amann is always my first choice (because I bleed butter). Anyway I got distracted there didn't I? Here the kouign amann is split in half and filled with hazelnut and liqueur ice cream and surrounding it is chocolate hazelnuts. And yep we just had to polish it off for research ;)
By now the place is getting full and it's still early. We depart with a pizza box full of leftover pizza (research darlings research!).
So tell me Dear Reader, which pizza topping did you like the sound of? What do you usually order on top of your pizza? And what food do you "bleed"?
This meal was independently paid for.
2/205 Victoria Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Wednesday to Saturday 5:30–9:30pm
Sunday to Tuesday Closed