Napoli Centro is a Italian pizza and pasta restaurant in Bardwell Park. With an indoor and outdoor section and a large range of Napoletana style pizzas it was recommended to us by friends as their favourite local pizza restaurant.
Booking an outdoor table can be a minefield with rainy weather. Just as we are pulling up in the nearby parking lot Valentina rings me. She had booked a table outdoors but there appears to be a problem with our booking. "Maybe just have a look when you get here," she says.
The outdoor section is set up for an 18th birthday party. There's a large table and enormous pink "18" balloons. I'm picturing something rowdy but we like the relative safety of outdoor eating so we sit down at an outdoor table, our small table dwarfed by the larger table for 18.
Our waitress is fantastic; she is attentive and perfectly sassy. There are also many tubs growing fresh basil and chillies and they come out to pick basil when it is needed during the night. We decide on four pizzas, one each and a salad. We aren't swayed by the pasta or other entrees and we are laser focused on pizza. It's what has gotten me through unpacking all day and nothing is going to stand in my way of pizza.
Diavolina Pizza $23
The pizzas come out swiftly and we have hopes that we will be in and out before the enormous 18th birthday party arrives. The first is the Diavolina, our favourite spicy pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, hot salami and olives. It's a good classic and we like the puffy sides and thin base with the slightly spicy sausage. Their house made chilli oil is fantastic, made using the small, spicy chillies in the back garden too and it packs quite a punch which is nice.
Sausage and Rapa Pizza $24
My favourite pizza of the night (and apparently the most popular) is the sausage and cime de rapa pizza with mozzarella, pork sausage and Italian broccolini leaves (cime de rapa) pan fried, with chilli oil. It hits all the flavour notes and has just the right amount of topping.
By the time the next two pizzas arrive a few minutes later the crowd for the 18th birthday party starts to arrive and the first are...kids? I had expected a crowd of rowdy 18 year olds a whoopin' and a hollerin'. Instead everyone looks very well behaved and I whisper to Valentina, "This is the most sedate 18th birthday party I've ever seen."
Prawns Pizza $27
I have to admit that I rarely order prawn or seafood pizzas just because I love sausage and salami on a pizza so much more. This one isn't bad though, quite tasty really with double tomato sauce, garlic sauce, cherry tomato, prawn, mozzarella and wild rocket on top.
Wrecking Ball Pizza $28
I had seen pictures of the Wrecking Ball on their site and this pizza has tomato sauce, eggplant, smoked buffalo mozzarella, gorgonzola and pork sausage. I think I had expected something a bit more wild given the name. It's a nice pizza and the gorgonzola is quite mild so adds a nice flavour dimension and intensity but I think the name suggests something crazier than it is.
I forgot to get a picture of it but the rocket salad is definitely worth ordering. This is an excellent version wild rocket, shaved parmesan and balsamic glaze. The dressing and parmesan are well distributed and mixed within the salad so you're not just chasing the parmesan shavings at the top. I think I end up eating most of this.
Nutella Pizza $14
It's time for dessert and we wait outside for our waitress to come back but it must be busy inside because we are waiting around 20 minutes so Valentina calls the restaurant to place an order for dessert. There are two available on the menu as one cake has sold out so we go with the Nutella pizza and tiramisu. Normally we are too full to even contemplate a dessert pizza but Mr NQN's eyes lit up when he heard Nutella because he loves the stuff. The Nutella pizza comes out piping hot and absolutely smothered with a thick layer of Nutella with sliced strawberry. You can order extra strawberry if you want and I think next time I would just to get more in every bite. Still I really enjoy the simple but sweet, rich pizza even after eating so much pizza already.
The tiramisu is good-it's actually not to sweet, especially when it follows the Nutella pizza which is very sweet. It is also quite light on the coffee flavour which may or may not be a bad thing if you're trying to get to sleep at night.
Valentina and I are busy looking at the crowd trying to pick the birthday person. People either look too young or too old to be 18. "Who is the birthday girl or boy?" asks Mr NQN curious. It turns out that the 18th party was a joke and the two people are fully grown adults!
So tell me Dear Reader, how often do you order dessert pizzas? What was your 18th birthday like? Have you ever called a restaurant to make an order while eating inside?
This meal was independently paid for.
Napoli Centro Pizzeria
10 Hartill-Law Ave, Bardwell Park NSW 2207
Phone: (02) 9599 9711
Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday 5–9pm
Friday & Saturday 5–9:30pm