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Monday, November 16, 2015

Via Napoli Pizzeria, Surry Hills

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The savoury equivalent of birthday cake has to be pizza, right? Think about it. There's the ceremony of cutting, the sharing around of slices, and then the unstoppable grin that spreads from cheek to cheek. It's communal eating at its finest, no cutlery required.

It's my birthday this week and I kicked off early celebrations with some of my favourite peeps on the weekend. We descended on Via Napoli Pizzeria in Surry Hills, taking over the former Franco Franco site on Crown Street.

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Open dining room looking onto Crown Street

Via Napoli started off as a small pizzeria in Lane Cove but has expanded steadily over the past three years to open up branches in Hunters Hill and Surry Hills. The Surry Hills outlet is packed out on a Friday night, manned by an army of staff. They tend to customers with Italian friendliness but there's a sense of urgent efficiency behind every interaction. The large dining room opens right up the street, but even then the noise levels among the tightly packed tables are on the shouty side of loud.

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Two-metre antipasti board

We skip the upsell on the antipasti board of charcuterie, cheeses and more, but most groups around us take up the offer. The larger tables have theirs served on a two metre plank. It's not hard to get caught up in the spectacle of it though, with waitstaff whooping like manic soccer fans as they carry it, dramatically bouncing the board up and down before it's laid down on the table.

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Prosciutto parma with 600 grams burrata $28

We have our eyes on the burrata instead. The 600 gram option rewards us with three glistening pouches on a bed of prosciutto parma and rocket leaves.

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Cream inside the burrata mozzarella ball

Slice open the burrata and you'll be greeted with a river of mozzarella and cream. Its a dairy fiend's dream of rich butteriness sloshed over with olive oil and a twist of black pepper. Alternate mouthfuls of this with gently salty prosciutto and peppery rocket and just try and stop your eyes rolling to the back of your head with satisfaction.

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Wood-fired pizza oven

But what Via Napoli does best is pizza. Owner Luigi Esposito earned membership of the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) at age 15, a strict non-profit organisation that certifies "true Neapolitan pizzas" cooked in accordance with "International Regulations". While Via Napoli is yet to be certified, it follows the same strict principles, including two stages of proofing the dough, a base that is no more than 4mm thick in the middle, cooking directly on the stone surface of a double-dome pizza oven at 485C for no more than 90 seconds, and the mandatory addition of fresh basil to finish.

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One metre pizza $6
Siciliana eggplant; Quattro salumi; and margherita

The pizzas come in 13-inch circles, half-metre rectangles or one-metre diving boards. They do two-metre pizzas too, although these have pre-set toppings that can't be changed.

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Siciliana 
San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, eggplant, basil and parmesan

The one-metre pizzas give you free rein to choose three different topping combo's. I'm a sucker for eggplant on pizza, and the Siciliana offers a comforting medley of squidgy roasted eggplant, fior di latte fresh mozzarella and sweet San Marzano tomatoes.

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Quattro salumi
San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, ham, sausage, mild salumi, hot salami and basil

In the middle we have Quattro Salumi, a four-meat combo of ham, sausage, mild salami and hot salami. Trailing down the far end is the classic margherita, a purist's staple of San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and olive oil.

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Airy rise of the cornicione pizza crust

The cornicione is a key identifier of the Neapolitan pizza, gently puffed with a soft and yielding chew.

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The pizza upskirt shot

And I'm never one to shy away from the pizza upskirt shot, looking for evidence of a smoky wood-fired base.

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Pizza time!

And then everybody's in, grabbing giant slabs of pizza and rejoicing in the puddles of molten mozzarella cheese, the sweet tang of tomato and that soft pizza base with a smoky aftertaste.

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Pandan chiffon cake with cream and fruit made by Chocolatesuze

Chocolatesuze made me my favourite cake: chiffon smothered in cream and laden with fresh fruit.

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Pandan chiffon cake sandwiched with cream and fresh strawberries

There is nothing finer than the marriage of fluffy chiffon cake against fresh whipped cream. Or dear friends. Or delicious pizza with all of the above.

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Via Napoli Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Via Napoli Pizzeria
628 Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Takeaway Tel: +61 (02) 9310 1300
Reservations Tel: +61 (02) 9428 3297

Opening hours:
Lunch Thursday to Sunday 12pm-5pm
Dinner Monday to Sunday 5pm til late



Also open at:
Lane Cove - 141 Longueville Road
Takeaway Tel: +61 (02) 9428 3724
Reservations Tel: +61 (02) 9428 3297

Hunters Hills - 64-68 Gladesville Road
Takeaway Tel: +61 (02) 9816 3600
Reservations Tel: +61 (02) 9428 3297


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Pizza - Via Napoli, Lane Cove
Pizza - Gigi Pizzeria, Newtown

19 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/16/2015 01:57:00 am


19 Comments:

  • At 11/16/2015 7:36 am, Anonymous John - heneedsfood said…

    The shouty side of loud - sounds like earplug territory to me. Despite all the noise, that pizza looks like mighty fine stuff. Happy Birthday!

     
  • At 11/16/2015 8:50 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    happppy birthdaaaay tooooo youuuuu!

     
  • At 11/16/2015 8:50 am, Anonymous Isaac (iFat) said…

    Late happy birthday, Helen! The spread looked amazing, so keen to finally give Via Napoli a go now that it's closer.

     
  • At 11/16/2015 11:38 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    Happy Birthday week Helen!!! Pizza and cake, throw a burger in there and it's the perfect way to celebrate a birthday!!

     
  • At 11/16/2015 11:46 am, Anonymous Padaek said…

    Happy birthday Helen! :)

     
  • At 11/16/2015 1:18 pm, Anonymous Gourmet Getaways said…

    Happy Birthday Helen!!! xxx
    OMG, look at that Pizza!!
    I need that in my life it looks delicious and SO MEGA!
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

     
  • At 11/16/2015 2:27 pm, Blogger jess @ fushmush said…

    Happy Birthday!

    How's the noise at the Surry Hills one? The Hunters Hill one is so noisy that you almost can't conduct a conversation. I enjoyed the food but wasn't a fan of the ambiance.

     
  • At 11/16/2015 3:35 pm, Anonymous Cindy (a foodie's joy) said…

    Happy birthday Helen! Looks like you and your peeps had a ball! :)

     
  • At 11/16/2015 5:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am yet to try out there new branch in Surry Hills but have driven past and think the venue looks great. Just to confirm, Via Napoli is not part of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana - there are only a handful in Sydney that you can check out here http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/shownaz_eng.php?n=Australia

     
  • At 11/16/2015 6:49 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi John - It is a little loud but I think that's also a sign of getting old. Haha. And thank you!

    Hi Chocolatesuze - Thanks for the cake! It makes for the best breakfast, lunch and dinner :)

    Hi Isaac - It's all good. Birthday isn't until later this week - I just got a headstart on celebrations, but thank you!

    Hi Bianca - If I have my way, it'll be birthday month, lol, but thanks. And lol I'm definitely overdue for a burger mehinks!

    Hi Padaek - Thanks so much :)

    Hi Gourmet Getaways - The pizza is giant sized! Definitely one for a crowd!

    Hi Jess - It was definitely on the noisy side when the restaurant was full. I think we're getting old :)

    Hi Cindy - We had a ball of burrata alright! lol

    Hi Anon - Thanks for clarifying. I realised where I got confused - their website mentions that the owner earnt membership of AVPN but that was obviously with a different pizzeria. I should have checked the membership list. Have edited the text above to reflect that, but thank you for picking up on it!

     
  • At 11/16/2015 10:17 pm, Anonymous Tania | My Kitchen Stories said…

    Oh they like a show don't they?. None the less it looks awesome especially the up skirt shot. Happy Birthday

     
  • At 11/16/2015 10:26 pm, Anonymous Sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    Well hello speedy post person that is having a birthday this week. How quick were you getting this up! Fantastic meal with awesome people, but I have to say that Suze's baking skills stole the show.

     
  • At 11/17/2015 8:10 am, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Happy birthday & eat on, dude!

     
  • At 11/17/2015 11:10 am, Anonymous Brian Tam Food said…

    Happy birthday! Love the 'one metre diving board' and 'upskirt shot' lines.

     
  • At 11/17/2015 9:04 pm, Blogger Jacq said…

    happy birthday! Love Via Napoli's pizza, the Vesuvio is my favourite. But I can't believe I've never tried the Siciliana with the roasted eggplant, it looks awesome!

     
  • At 11/17/2015 11:44 pm, Anonymous Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said…

    Happy Birthday and yes, a pizza is cake for dinner and you still get cake after. It's like eating your cake and having it too.

    I'd love a pizza get together for my birthday party.

     
  • At 11/28/2015 1:10 pm, Anonymous Martine @ Chompchomp said…

    You make pizza sound so sexy!!! Love the upskirt shot....great way to capture the moment! Happy birthday again!! xx

     
  • At 12/09/2015 9:24 pm, Blogger irene said…

    Can never say no to pizza. Happy belated birthday, Helen!

     
  • At 12/12/2015 11:55 am, Blogger Sarah said…

    Happy Birthday! Those pizzas look awesome and that burrata, oh my!!

    xox Sarah

     

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