Column 1:
a. 210914Tu-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-ItalyOnHighPizzeria
b 220111Tu-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-Domino’s-pizza
c. 220107F-Fairfax-Traveller-Italy-Napoli-pizza
d. 210726M-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-Crudo-pizza

Column 2:
a & 3a. 210820F-‘CanberraTimes’-pizza.
b. 211020W-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-Dom’sPizzaPasta
c. 220224Th-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-Domino’s
d. 210714Th-‘SMH’-Leura-PizzaSublime

Column 3
b. 220109Su-‘BendigoAdvertiser’-LuchianoPizza
cd. 211002Sa-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-vegemite-pizza

Column 4:
a. 210926Su-Melbourne’HeraldSun’-square.pizza
b. 210323-Fairfax-GoodFood-Newtown-WestwoodPizza.
cd. 210724Sa-Fairfax-GoodFood-Sydney-Marta – pizza and other Italian food

Jan 7 2022 Naples, Italy: One of Italy’s greatest cities has sprung back to life Steve McKenna
"Napoli is like a lasagne. It’s full of layers and every time we dig down, we find another slice," says Brunella Uva, our Neapolitan guide, nodding to the building site near the cruise terminal. She reveals that work to extend the city’s Metro system led to the discovery of an earlier port, established by Greek sailors almost 3000 years ago. A glass-floored viewing window overlooking the relics is being planned, adding to the cornucopia of cultural treasures that wow visitors to Napoli (or Naples) and its volcano-riddled surrounds.
Brunella is in buoyant spirits now that overseas tourists are finally trickling back. We see and hear them amid the stew of activity on Spaccanapoli, the narrow, pulsating street that means "Naples Splitter" and divides the city’s ancient Greco-Roman core. Hemmed in by five and six-storey gelato-hued buildings, many with peeling stucco, caked in graffiti and occupied by residents and (seemingly-thriving) businesses, this two-kilometre-long east-west thoroughfare is claustrophobic. But in a good way.
After the pandemic-enforced travel bans, being somewhere so noisy and atmospheric, where your eyes dart this way and that, capturing the vignettes of Neapolitan life in all its espresso-downing, pizza-munching, frenetic-talking, gesticulation-spliced vibrance, is a treat. "For me, Napoli is life," says Brunella. "Last year, especially during the three-month lockdown, it was very strange. Everything was closed down and so quiet. Just not the real Napoli."
Pizza portafoglio, literally "wallet pizza", typically margarita flavoured and smaller than your classic sourdough one. Photo: iStock
We brush shoulders with Neapolitans across the age and social spectrums, from sneaker-clad students and well-heeled, immaculately-groomed brunettes to cap-carrying beggars and besuited octogenarians (some sporting face masks, others with them sagging under their chins). Spaccanapoli comprises several inter-connecting streets and in the ones that aren’t pedestrianised, taxis honk and scooters drone, crawling and itching to circumvent the melee.
Music – from opera to Aerosmith – sounds from pot planted-balconied apartments and hole-in-the-wall stores. Poking my head in as we walk, I see butchers hacking meat, watches being polished, dresses being hung, hand-bags being primped, books piled on shelves, vinyl records being leafed through. There are juice bars and "burger stores", pharmacies and delis where vendors stack pasta, wine and limoncello outside doorways.
Funnelling off Spaccanapoli are even narrower, shadowy alleys and elaborately-carved archways and courtyards that’ll tempt the adventurous wanderer. On one street corner, an elderly, flat-capped, cigarette-smoking man is hunched on a chair, beside a stall loaded with vintage dial telephones. A younger man hawks cornicellos – chilli-pepper-shaped red horns said to bring good luck, fertility and virility.
You’ll hear baristas clattering away, drumming up Naples’ famously bitter, blow-your-head-off espresso. We stop for a jolt at Bar 7Bello – a neon-laced joint opposite Gay-Odin, a chocolatier founded in 1894 and renowned for its brioches stuffed with chocolate, pistachio and strawberry ice cream. Other timeless Neapolitan snacks are sfogliatella – a shell-shaped puff pastry – and pizza portafoglio, literally "wallet pizza", typically margarita flavoured and smaller than your classic sourdough one. "You fold it and eat it as you walk," explains Brunella, as she orders for me. "It’s popular in the historic centre because it’s super-frantic here and people are always on the move.’
Not everyone is. Biting into my portafoglio, I see characters chatting, flirting and dosing up on nicotine, caffeine and other palate-pleasers at tables and chairs strewn across the squares, large and small, that punctuate Spaccanapoli. Off Piazzetta Nilo is Bar Nilo, a shrine to Napoli Football Club and its late, legendary star, Diego Maradona. It has an altar with a "miraculous" lock of the Argentine’s hair.
Despite a controversial 2019 HBO documentary depicting Maradona as being in the clutches of cocaine and the Camorra (the Neapolitan mafia) when he played for Napoli from 1984 to 1991, he’s still worshipped here for inspiring the underdog club to glory. And he lives on: portrayed as "Dios" (God) on socks, scarves, statuettes, tattoos, religious iconography, wall murals and other gift shop souvenirs. "Napoli has over 50 patron saints – and Maradona," says Brunella.
Walking back towards sun-drenched Piazza del Gesu Nuovo, there’s a loud pop of confetti. A bride and groom emerge, arm-in-arm, from a Baroque church. They pose for snaps – initially for the wedding photographer, then for the Israeli tourists who’ve gathered round pointing their cameras. The newly-weds look happy. Soon everyone does. A strange, sudden, impromptu gust of joy sweeps across the square. There are grins and laughter, and a good mood that is – dare I say it – infectious.
Norwegian Epic visits Naples on seven-night Mediterranean cruises departing Rome or Barcelona. Current Italian government regulations stipulate cruise passengers wishing to alight in Italy’s ports must do a ship-organised excursion (these regulations are subject to change). Norwegian’s Spacca Napoli and Folded Pizza tour is USD139. See ncl.com
Steve McKenna was a guest of Norwegian Cruise Line.

PALEO PIZZAS COME TO KEW Kara Irving July 26, 2021
With events taking a back seat in 2021, Melbourne hospo legend Tony Donnini is making good use of the vacant warehouse behind his CRU Wine Bar in Kew.
In September he’ll launch daytime eatery Crudo in the space, feeding pizzas and Italian eats with a paleo bent to nearby offices and the work-from-home crowd.
Donnini recruited original DOC pizza chef Davide Picerni to sling nine-inch, lunch-sized pizzas hot from the brick Moretti oven.
Paleo pizza bases made from walnut and chestnut flour will be the star attraction, topped with dietary-friendly ingredients to meet local demand.
Executive chef Sam Green (Bistro D’Orsay, Light Years) continues the plant-forward theme with six salads, sandwiches, wraps and baguettes.
Don’t worry, it’s not all healthy with Publique Bakery on danish and croissant duty of a morning and bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) made in-house.
Tony Donnini and Sam Green with pizzas and salads at Crudo. Picture: David Caird
“We saw a need for a place to get a quick bite where you don’t need to be served at a table,” Donnini said.
“You’ll be able to order online or walk up to the bar and get takeaway, or eat at the communal tables, in a very informal, relaxed way.”
Crudo’s house coffee blend, lighter Italian wines and beer on tap round out the drink selection.
Donnini soon hopes to open a co-working space at the canteen.
Crudo will be open for breakfast, salads and pizzas. Picture: David Caird

AUGUST 20 2021 Smoko wood-fired pizza restaurant opens in Fyshwick during Canberra lockdown. Megan Doherty
Smoko co-owner Colin Lagos with the wood-fired pizza oven in his new pizzeria in Fyshwick. Picture: Karleen Minney
Smoko owners Colin Lagos and Ailsa Franklin-Browne are opening their new wood-fired pizza joint in Fyshwick in early September, even though Canberra will still be in lockdown.
The new outlet, next to the Two Hands cafe in Lyell Street, will be open initially for takeaway, with just two staff and pick-ups through a takeaway window. All Covid-safe procedures will be in place.
Smoko opens on the first day of spring, September 1, the day before lockdown is due to finish in the ACT at this stage.
It will be open from 9.30am to 2.30pm, taking in traditional tradies’ smoko, but the name of the pizzeria is also a nod to the smoke from the oven.
Mr Lagos said there was no good time to open a business at the moment.
Pizza and calzone will be on the menu at Smoko. Picture: Karleen Minney
"And I just have to do it," he said.
"It’s Fyshwick’s only wood-fired pizzeria.
"We’re offering takeaway pizza, from the lunchtime size to the large, and also calzone. It’s a quality product, a handmade product from a genuine wood-fired oven.
"And once we’re up and running and through the worst, and get cash-flow happening, we’re going to start making pastas. But that will be down the track, probably towards the later part of the year. We’ll keep the prices affordable and the sizes generous. "
Mr Lagos is a 15-year veteran of pizza in Canberra.
He had Pizza Gusto, first at Red Hill, then Braddon, and now East Pizza at the Kingston Foreshore.
Smoko has transformed an existing old space in Fyshwick, its walls featuring striking murals completed by Brisbane artist Lucks last year.
"It looks fantastic, the mural is such a wonderful feature," Mr Lagos said.
"The oven is big. We’ve got nice wine-coloured stools. It’s very rustic, warehouse-y.
"It’s got a real sense of space and place and I hope down the track, customers can connect with that and enjoy coming here when restrictions are eased off and things improve."
Smoko’s opening had been delayed by hold-ups with trades initially. But now it is ready to go.
"I didn’t plan on opening this time but I just have to," he said.
Mr Lagos is remaining incredibly upbeat despite being one of the many small business owners facing so many obstacles during the Covid lockdown.
"What’s keeping me optimistic? I suppose you have to be in business," he said.
"I know I have a great product. It’s something I have been doing in Canberra for 15 years. And I have some good, close, loyal staff."
* Now that is a pizza oven, no skimping on size there.
* Open for brunch but not dinner? Weird.

Dom’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant used as ‘front’ to sell drugs. Liam Beatty October 25, 2021 Wyndham Leader
A restaurateur has been sentenced in court on drug trafficking charges after police repeatedly watched customers walking out of his Sunshine pizza shop without food.
Dom’s Pizza & Pasta Restaurant was raided by police on August 19 amid suspicions the owner was selling drugs from the business.
The owner of a Sunshine pizza restaurant who turned his business into a drug-trafficking front after police secretly watched customers enter and leave without “pizza boxes”, has escaped a jail sentence.
Police raided the Durham Rd premises of Dom’s Pizza and Pasta Restaurant on August 19 when they found Goran Bijeljic with 5g of ice and $1932 in cash hidden in his trousers.
A search of the building found 55g of cannabis, two small bottles of 1,4 butanediol, a Taser and a bowie knife.
As police searched the business, a customer walked in and admitted she was there to buy meth.
“Going to ask him to meet me in the kitchen and have it done up already,” a text message to a friend said of the $140 deal.
An investigation of the 52-year-old’s phone uncovered a number of messages organising the sale of drugs on previous occasions.
Bijeljic reappeared in the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to trafficking methamphetamine and cannabis, dealing with the proceeds of crime, possession of prohibited weapons and committing an indictable offence while on bail earlier in the week.
The court heard Bijeljic had been jailed for two and a half years in 2008 for his part in a 50 person trafficking syndicate, which was selling drugs across Melbourne’s western suburbs.
On Friday, the court heard the restaurateur had been found suitable for a community-based sentence, leading magistrate Amina Bhai to impose a 12-month community corrections order after taking into account the 64 days he’d spent in custody.
He was also ordered to complete 75 hours of unpaid community work.
His lawyer Ahmet Yucel said he had been running the shop as a legitimate business for 31 years and it had suffered through Covid lockdowns.
“It’s his passion, it’s what he does,” he said. “He lives and breathes pizza.”
He said Bijeljic had told investigators the business had collapsed during Covid, down to about a dozen pizzas a night.
“While he’s in custody an acquaintance is running the restaurant but that’s only a temporary set-up,” he said. “He wants to get back to work.”
But Senior Constable Sean Armstrong argued the pizza shop was a “front business”, saying police believed it was not able to operate “at a scale you’d expect from a pizza shop”.
“A review of the state of the messy kitchen led police to contact the Sunshine Council, which issued a notice to cease operations,” he said.
“It‘s been open as a pizza shop, but through our observations no one was leaving there with a pizza box.”

Bendigo’s Luchiano’s Pizza calls out bad customer behaviour. Tara Cosoleto January 9 2022
Staff at Bendigo’s Luchiano’s Pizza. Picture: TARA COSOLETO
A BENDIGO pizza shop owner is saying "enough is enough" after a number of her workers were abused over COVID-19 rules.
Luchiano’s Pizza owner Juliette Kabalan took to Facebook on Saturday to issue the message. She told the Bendigo Advertiser that some people needed to do better.
"The abuse and the yelling and everything else that comes with the ugliness – it’s just getting out of control," Mrs Kabalan said.
Read other news: Bendigo man launches appeal after being jailed for family violence
"It’s bad enough that we have staff that have to isolate, we also have staff who don’t want to come into work anymore because of the abuse."
Mrs Kabalan said one of her workers had an exemption to not wear a mask due to asthma, yet the girl had been repeatedly abused by members of the public.
The owner said delivery drivers have also repeatedly had to deal with COVID-positive people collecting their pizzas face-to-face rather than electing contactless delivery.
"That happened five times on Friday night," Mrs Kabalan said. "We had one person who wanted to pay in cash after saying they were COVID-positive.
"Our driver had to tell them to pay over the phone because he wouldn’t take the cash.
"It’s just ridiculous. If you are waiting on a result or are COVID-positive, we should be advised."
Mrs Kabalan said the shop had to call the police on Saturday night after a customer issued threats because their delivery was going to be five minutes late.
Read other news: Australian Hotels Association calls for changes amid coronavirus challenges
But the owner said for every horrible customer, there were numerous wonderful members of the community.
"Our regulars have been beautiful," she said. "We want to thank them from the bottom of our heart.
"We had customers who bought vouchers at the start of the pandemic because they thought we might not make it. We will be in debt to all our locals.
"I think I can speak on behalf of a lot of businesses when I say we are so lucky we’re in Bendigo and not Melbourne.
"The Bendigo community has come together and supported each other right from the start."
Mrs Kabalan said the great support just highlighted how bad some of the behaviour had been.
"We are a small family business," she said. "I treat my workers like their my own kids, which is why enough was enough.
"I will support my workers through and through."

Blue Mountains restaurants welcome financial relief amid ‘crippling’ lockdown. Josh Dye July 14, 2021
Hospitality business owners in the Blue Mountains have expressed gratitude about the new COVID-19 relief measures announced this week, saying the stimulus will help keep them afloat.
James Howarth runs Leura Garage, a restaurant and bar that usually buzzes during winter. Instead, his revenue is down about 90 per cent after he shut down, with only pizza takeaway service Pizza Sublime operating nearby.
Pizza chef Marco Marano and Pizza Sublime owner James Howarth (right) at their store in Leura.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS
He’s grateful to receive government financial assistance, but says it can’t mask the fact he’s losing hundreds of thousands of dollars while his customers are stuck at home.
“Whatever disaster relief we get can’t wipe away the tears from the disaster of losing that amount of revenue,” Mr Howarth said.
Among the various relief package benefits, businesses can access grants up to $15,000, a $10,000 federal cash flow boost as well as receive payroll tax waivers and get protection from evictions.
There’s a short-term moratorium on evictions for tenants in arrears, and commercial landlords are being incentivised with land tax waivers if they provide tenants rental relief. Meanwhile individual employees who have lost work can access $600 a week in disaster payments directly from the federal government.
Mr Howarth said he’s in “survival mode” as he tries to juggle short-term obligations of rent and other expenses with looking after his 25 staff, let alone making longer-term investment decisions while still being in debt from last year.
“We were counting on three good weeks of school holidays. All our cash flow projections were based on having a strong trading period through that time. Because we didn’t get that, we’ve got a massive hole in our projections so I’m scrambling to fill that,” he said.
While pleased to still be operating a takeaway business, Mr Howarth is looking forward to opening his restaurant properly again.
“There’s nothing sexy about dropping your packaged food on a plate and turning on Farmer Wants A Wife,” he said.
About 200 metres down the street, Dora Tsaroumis owns Cafe Leura. Her business is completely closed with 12 staff on annual leave and long-service leave.
“It’s crippling,” she said. “We provide a dine-in experience and we’re in a high tourist area that doesn’t have a lot of population around. To stay open and try to do takeaway wasn’t going to be a model that worked for us. We decided to close to try to reduce our costs as much as possible.”
Cafe Leura’s average turnover is about $30,000 a week, but higher during school holidays.
“We’ve lost three weeks of trade [so far] – by the end of it it’ll be hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
This latest blow came just as Mrs Tsaroumis was starting to feel positive again after the disruption last year.
“It’s all gone down the drain now. Instead of taking two steps forward I feel we’re back to where we were 12 months ago.
“I’m feeling more hopeful [with the relief measures]. It’s not going to be like trading but it will be helpful. How long can you tread water? You get tired.”
Mrs Tsaroumis is spending the time making minor tweaks to the cafe and re-evaluating the menu prices to factor in higher costs including the 0.5 percentage point rise in the superannuation guarantee.
Wes Lambert, chief of the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association, says the stimulus measures will make “an enormous difference”.
“By providing cash flow during this period of reduced activity or hibernation, businesses are better able to pay the bills that will keep coming through regardless of the lockdown,” he said.

Vegemite pizza leads USA marketing push: ask Brooklyn master chef Giovanni Fabanio. Tiffany Bakker October 2, 2021 Australian Business Network
New York master pizza chef Giovanni Fabanio is convinced he committed the most cardinal of sins when he first tried Vegemite.
Giovanni Fabiano at his Brooklyn restaurant, Rosa’s Pizza. ’In New York City, you don’t need to go far to talk to an Aussie.’
New York master pizza chef Giovanni Fabanio is convinced he committed the most cardinal of sins when he first tried Vegemite.
“When I first tasted Vegemite, it was from a spoon – the biggest no-no ever, I later learned,” he said.
“It’s not something you can eat out of the jar, like peanut butter. But it is a delicious addition to cooking. So that’s why I’m trying to introduce America to it in a different way.
“I then tried Vegemite on toast, and although I thought it was good, I couldn’t help thinking to myself – Australia – you’re doing it wrong! It’d be even better on top of one of my pizza pies!”
Fabiano, who is about to start selling Vegemite Pizzas at his family restaurant, Rosa’s Pizza in Brooklyn, said if Australians can get their head around eating Vegemite on a pizza, we should start expanding other culinary horizons.
“From what I’ve heard Australians most often eat it on toast with lots of butter. But Vegemite has an amazing, unique flavour that’s great in cooking as well,” he said.
“In New York City, you don’t need to go far to talk to an Aussie. And you don’t need to be talk’n for long before they start prattling on about the stuff.”
Fabiano said the reluctance to embrace Vegemite is all to do with perception and, plainly, eating it the wrong way.
“When I first tasted Vegemite, I could taste the umami,” he explained.
“I love the taste of anchovies and I found this had quite similar notes. Meaning, it’s a good match for lots of styles of cooking that I do.
“So I knew Vegemite would work in a similar way, adding a saltiness that cuts through the cheese and makes a simple pizza much more exciting.”
So what exactly is on Fabiano’s new Vegemite pizza?
“It’s like a classic Margherita pizza but with a bit of a twist: the pizza is made with a classic tomato sauce base, topped with a drizzle of Vegemite Squeezy and plenty of mozzarella cheese,” he said.
Fabanio has partnered with Vegemite to bring the famous spread to the US, after its parent company Bega Cheese went looking for a New York local to help make the taste of Australia more accessible overseas.
Bega’s marketing manager of spreads, Jacqui Roth, said the US is an important market to Vegemite, and it is one of the four markets that its online store ships to outside of Australia alongside the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
While the world famous spread does not have an official distribution partner in the US yet, sales are growing.
“USA is the most popular market for Vegemite in their online store orders outside of Australia within the last year,” she said.
“Vegemite understands the frustration felt within the United States, given it’s often hard to get your hands on the iconic flavour.
“Vegemite’s ‘Mitey Merch’ online store revenue grew by 21 per cent year on year last financial year, and Vegemite is continuing to focus on its online store offering – for Australians and global citizens alike.”
The move comes as Bega has made Vegemite Squeezy available for purchase online globally.
“This means, global citizens will now be able to make their very own Vegemite pizza,” she said.
Fabiano called on anyone with friends or family in New York to come and try his new “secret” topping from Monday (Sunday local time).
“Rosa’s Pizza is not only known to have delicious traditional pizzas, but we’re also renowned for getting creative when it comes to our menu,” he said.
“So, we’re pretty well known around town.”

Westwood Pizza review. LEE TRAN LAM March 23 2021
Impressively local: Tomato heirloom pizza. Photo: Wolter Peeters
245 Australia St Newtown, NSW 2042.
OPENING HOURSWed-Mon, 5pm-late (they typically sell-out by 9pm)
Mitchell Westwood was 14 when made his first professional pizza. Sure, he doesn’t remember what he cooked ("It had a lot of barbecue sauce" is the only detail he can verify) and it wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was a start.
By 18, he was co-owner of Tony’s Pizza and Pasta in Jannali, where his career began.
By 21, and many Hawaiian and super supreme pizza sales later, he was bored. "You start to get hungry, you want to do something more than conveyor-belt pizza," he says.
Inside the Australia Street venue. Photo: Wolter Peeters
So he knocked on the door of Queen Margherita of Savoy, a Cronulla pizzeria recognised by Italy’s Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which upholds Naples’ traditional style of making dough and toppings.
Westwood spent 18 months mastering pizza that spent 60-90 seconds in a high-blast oven, yet came out soft, chewy and easy to fold. He then joined acclaimed Newtown pizzeria Bella Brutta, as its first pizzaiolo, and worked the oven at Bondi’s Ciccia Bella, before launching Westwood Pizza in Newtown.
It quietly opened before Christmas, a tiny joint without a sign, yet was soon commanding three-hour waits for pizza. Partly, it’s because the wood-fired oven fits three pizzas at most, but it’s also because its menu is exceptionally good.
Garlic honey pizza. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Additional chefs Jack Owe-Young and Gianluigi Di Sarno (both from Bella Brutta) have reduced wait times, but turn up at 5.40pm on a busy weeknight and it could be an hour until your order’s ready. Yet it’s truly worth your time.
His bases feature single-heritage emmer wheat, an ancient grain grown in Gunnedah, NSW, and are fermented for three days, with a touch of sourdough. "I’ve been using Italian flour my whole life," Westwood says. "It’s really liberating to use something that comes from Australia."
The result: an astonishing lightness. Eating Westwood’s pizza is like a time-lapse wonder: you can clear a whole box in record speed, yet swear you’re only mid-bite into your first slice. Westwood is also a master at layering maximum flavours on each base, but with the light-handed touch of a space-saving minimalist.
Potato and smoked eel pizza. Photo: Wolter Peeters
The stunning garlic-honey pizza is built on a foundation of confit garlic oil, then a drizzling of fermented-garlic honey, a creamy topping of fior di latte cheese and a showering of sheep’s milk pecorino on top.
It’s a novel combination I’ve never seen in Australia before – the closest I’ve come to it is in Japan, where you’re given a pitcher to pour honey over quattro formaggi (four-cheese) pizza.
At Westwood Pizza, the sweet-savoury complexity works: there are blockbuster amounts of rich flavours in each bite, without the need for piled-high ingredients.
Heirloom nectarine salad. Photo: Wolter Peeters
This is also true of the chef’s potato and smoked eel pizza, which is brightened with a squeeze of lemon and a juicy heirloom tomato topping, which is hit with marjoram, buffalo mozzarella and plenty of cracked pepper.
Every element of the pizzas – from the Rodriguez Bros spicy salami to the native ironbark that powers the oven – is impressively local. Westwood no longer makes conveyor-belt pizza with barbecue sauce and is much closer to creating masterpieces. This might be one of the best pizzerias in town.
The low-down
Main attraction: Brilliant and inspired wood-fired pizzas made with hyper-local ingredients on incredibly light bases. There are inventive salads, too, featuring wood-fired grapes with rocket and Pecorino cheese, or chopped nectarines with mozzarella and basil oil.
Must-try dish: The blistered garlic-honey pizza, flavoured with the honey-preserved cloves that ferment for months in jars placed on the counter, and oozing with two types of melted cheese.
Insta-worthy dish: The potato and smoked eel pizza: the potatoes are gently poached in a rich herb and vegetable stock, served on a white sauce made with Nik Hill’s Smoke Trap Eels from the Hawkesbury and garnished with marinaded rosemary that crisps up in the wood-fired oven.
Drinks: From $2.50 for spring water to $5 bottles of San Pellegrino.

‘People are worn out’: Sydney restaurants struggle with reduced takeaway spend during lockdown. CALLAN BOYS July 24 2021
Marta owner and chef Flavio Carnevale has been baking in his kitchen from 2am almost every morning during lockdown. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Sydney’s top lockdown takeaways
Flavio Carnevale could do with a good lie down. The owner of Rushcutters Bay Italian restaurant Marta has been in the kitchen from 2am most days over the past four weeks, topping tarts, rolling scrolls and kneading big slabs of pillowy Roman focaccia.
From 7.30am to 3pm, Carnevale serves his fresh pastries and greets regulars behind Marta’s marble counter; by 5pm the chef is back on the pans to cook takeaway gnocchi and parmigianas.
Flavio Carnevale says this lockdown has been a greater challenge than when coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March last year. Photo: Louise Kennerley
"I feel like I’m back in Ibiza during my partying days of next to no sleep," says the chef. "But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. You can’t stop."
Carnevale is one of many restaurateurs working extra long hours to keep their business afloat and retain staff during Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.
He says this lockdown has been a greater challenge than when coronavirus restrictions were first implemented in March last year.
Chef and restaurateur Brent Savage says he wishes the federal government had restarted JobKeeper for Sydney’s current lockdown. Photo: Supplied
"That first lockdown almost had an element of novelty to it," Carnevale says. "We had regulars ordering takeaway for Zoom dinner parties and spending big on wine, but this time there’s almost none of that vibe.
"Delivery and takeaway sales are OK, but not like what they were during lockdown in 2020. I think people are worn out … they may also be worried this pandemic could last longer than anyone expected they’re pulling back that extra spend."
At Ria Pizza + Wine in Potts Point, chef Brent Savage agrees this lockdown has been harder for hospitality venues. He says takeaway sales haven’t been as strong compared to last year partly because customers think his restaurants are outside their radius.
"We’re finding many people have a perception they can’t travel further than 10 kilometres from home, but that’s just for exercise," says Savage, who also operates Yellow in Potts Point, and Monopole and Bentley restaurants in the CBD.
Jorge Farah is the managing director behind venues including Surry Hills charcoal chicken shop Henrietta and its Crown Street neighbour Cuckoo Callay. While both eateries remain open for takeaway, Farah says turnover is down by 30 per cent compared to Sydney’s first lockdown.
"There are less people out and about which is a great thing for public health, but not so much for our sales. Takeaway also took another big hit when work sites were shut down [on Monday]. When there’s no construction staff coming past for coffee and sandwiches, you really notice it."
Chef Shane Delia prepares meals for his Providoor delivery service at Maha restaurant, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied
Hoping to reach more customers, Savage has partnered with new delivery service Providoor which launched in NSW on Wednesday.
Born out of Victoria’s COVID lockdowns and helmed by Melbourne-based chef Shane Delia, Providoor provides next-day delivery of heat-and-plate meals from high-profile restaurants to a large majority of NSW and the ACT.
"We were already scheduled to come to NSW in October, but over the past few weeks I’ve had loads of Sydney hospitality mates asking me to bring the launch forward," Delia says.
Rockpool Bar & Grill’s home delivery banquet available via Providoor. Photo: Supplied
"We take 15 per cent commission – a lot less than the 30 or 40 per cent cut taken by other delivery platforms – and will cold-freight the food to anywhere from Newcastle to Orange to Wollongong.
"I’m making bugger-all profit. I’m a restaurateur and I just want to see restaurants survive."
More than 40 Sydney restaurants are set to partner with Providoor over the next fortnight. Haymarket icon Golden Century, Monopole and Bondi’s Cicciabella are on board, plus two-hatted CBD steakhouse Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Rockpool chef Corey Costelloe has already been "pumped" with Providoor orders this week (including a few lobster thermidors to Canberra) and says he has been able to keep 20 kitchen staff employed as a result.
Like many restaurant operators The Sydney Morning Herald has spoken to, Savage says he wishes the federal government had restarted JobKeeper for the current lockdown.
The national wage subsidy initially paid out $1500 a fortnight per employee through COVID-affected businesses and Savage says it was successful in its aim of "keeping employees and employers connected".
New COVID-19 financial support packages include a weekly payment of $600 for workers who have lost more than 20 hours a week. JobSaver provides a cash boost for eligible businesses of up to 40 per cent of the weekly payroll with a maximum of $10,000 per week.
David Chan is the owner-chef of Hurstville restaurant Sun Ming. With reduced revenue (Chan’s sales are down by more than 50 per cent), employing all his staff on their normal hours is not feasible and he says the payroll cash boost provides little relief for a small business like his.
"Most staff are earning around $800 a week," he says. "While many are loyal, some are also saying ‘well, why don’t I just stay at home for the $600 rather than work?’
"But people need to look after themselves, I understand that. A lot of my staff have said they will return when things are back to normal."
JobKeeper provided Chan with the opportunity of employing workers to deliver his signature Macau-style pork chop, but this lockdown he is relying on digital platforms Uber Eats and Easi.
"Delivery is going off, which helps out, but the platforms take a big percentage of profits, so we don’t really earn that much from them," he says. "People are taking this lockdown seriously, which is the right thing to do, but it’s affecting hospitality and retail. I’ve certainly noticed more ‘for sale’ and ‘for lease’ signs in local shop windows over the past month."
Sun Ming has served classic Hong Kong cuisine since 1993, but Chan says he is "definitely" concerned about how the business will survive the longer lockdown continues.
"We’ve still got all our regulars coming in for takeaway, but it’s really tough. My friends with restaurants say the same thing. Every night I get home, all I can think about is ways to get more people to order food from us."
For Savage and Carnevale, the biggest lure this lockdown has been anything loaded with carbohydrates that has enjoyed time in the oven.
"People will come to our weekend market [at Ria Pizza] for the custard tart or Yellow’s licorice bread, but end up buying wine or a ready-made meal too," says Savage. "We’ve been selling a lot of lasagne."
At Martra, Carnevale says his 2am starts to bake maritozzi cream buns and wood-fired sourdough have been worth the lack of sleep.
"The morning bakery has put the oil in our engine through lockdown. I think part of the popularity is because you can buy $100 worth of food and feed a family of eight.
"Now our problem is that we can’t bake enough bread. We’ve had to start baking twice a day because we’re selling so many more loaves than lockdown last year. It’s crazy."

Fri.4.1.22 Melbourne ‘Herald Sun’. A mushroom pizza branded Champignons League has prompted UEFA to threaten legal action against a small German food company for supposedly violating one of the best-known trademarks in international soccer.
Lawyers for the sport’s governing body warned it was ready to sue over the company’s pun.
But Pizza Wolke, from the German town of Giessen, argued that there was little risk of confusion between a multibillion-euro football competition and a small and cheap frozen pizza.
[The soccer is Champions League].

Posted by Roderick Smith – retired rnveditor on 2022-07-05 00:08:12

Tagged: , Melbourne , Italy , pizza , Victoria

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