Pretentious food isn't always found in some classy restaurant joint. Sometimes you find only slightly pretentious food in the most humble of settings. Such was the case today, when we came across a pizza parlour in a food court.
This looks like your average food court at Anchorpoint, with stalls that sell chicken rice and noodles. It isn't until you walk in further, towards the end of the place, that you notice a stall not commonly seen in food courts.
But that wasn't what we were looking for. Unusual, maybe, but not spectacular. A little further in though, and just opposite the pasta place, and we were rewarded.
Now, a pizza parlour in a food court is certainly something you don't see everyday. And definitely not one run by the owner himself, who appears to be Italian. See those boxes? That can only mean one thing: he does delivery.
Turns out he's not Italian after all. He's a Romanian guy named Peter Bontoi who makes Italian pizzas. Talk about globalisation. Check out the huge mound of ingredients he has in front of him. Nothing fancy, the usual mozzarella, salami, mushrooms, capsicum and stuff.
Take a look at the huge menu he has next to his work area. Obviously plonking himself in a food court has done wonders for his bottom line; he can afford to price himself well below anything you'd find elsewhere, including joints like Pizza Hut and Canadian Pizza. $5.00 for a personal pizza is a really fantastic price. This is regardless of how many toppings you want on it, so if you're a Zen Buddhist, this is a great place to say, "make me one with everything". What really caught my eye was the $1.80 panna cotta, but unfortunately it wasn't ready when I asked for one.
The great thing about this setup is the flexibility it comes with. Mr. Bontoi says any other Italian dishes are available upon advance request and that he can do on site cooking for any occasion. The real sweetener though, is that he does free delivery for any order over $20 (for selected areas). So if you live anywhere around Anchorpoint, this is a really good alternative to Pizza Hut. Question is, of course, does the food come up to scratch?
This was the Caprese salad ($4), which was really simple. Surprisingly, the lettuce was extremely crunchy and retained its water. The dressing of olive oil and basil puree looked awful, but was quite refreshing when drizzled over the tomatoes and cheese slices. I have never been a fan of olives, but for the price, the salads really are a good alternative to the fat-laden food you're otherwise likely to consume.
My father decided to order the "chef's soup" ($4), which turned out to be mushroom soup. For this, I have only one word: Campbell's. 'Nuff said.
And now on to the main event. This guy's pizza looks pretty authentic, and he doesn't stinge on the ingredients. My mother rather unwisely ordered artichokes and olives, which took up far too much space on the pizza than they were worth. The pizza's crust is thin; though not as thin as it gets in true pizzerias. A 12" pizza like this one feeds two people for $12, no matter how many toppings you order, and for that price, I'm not complaining.
Pizza Pasta is located in Anchorpoint, right opposite IKEA. Of course, if you don't feel like making the trip, you could always call for delivery, assuming you live nearby of course.
The service is more friendly than you'd expect from a food court, as he's got his son helping him to serve the pizzas to hungry customers. We didn't even pay up front, which is definitely a plus, though I'm not sure how much business sense that makes.
In terms of ambience, well, it's a food court, what do you expect? It can be a bit warm if you sit next to the stall itself, because it's located near to the doorway and warm air keeps getting blown in.
Pizza Pazza (Italian, casual)
Oscar's Food Mall
Tel: 6474 3626 (call for delivery)
Location: 3.5/5 (5/5 if delivery)
Overall: This has "value-for-money" written all over it