Pizzaramamania
Who doesn't like pizza, with hundreds of possible combinations there's one to suit anyones taste. I used to be a Pizza Hut delivery driver, racing all around from Kensington to Coogee and everwhere in between in my trusty $600 1976 Volvo 244 DL that Dad bought me, with a 6D maglite and some nights even an axe, after all you never knew who you were going to meet, weirdos eat pizza too, I brought pipping hot (not always) fresh (not always) and tasty (not always) pizzas to people's homes. There was even this one regular customer that had his pizza with no cheese! I was convinced then this was the ultimate food, easily adjustable to meet anyones requirements.

My fascination with Pizza started at an early age, in Fairy Meadows, which was some place we often passed on returning from family outings, and as a treat, Dad used to take the whole family to Pizza Hut here for all you can eat, or a few pizzas and salad bar, this of course was back in the day when Pizza delivery wasn't quite as big as it is today and Pizza Hut actually had proper restaurants, where you had to wait to be seated. People in checkered red and white shirts would take your order at the table and you get starters like garlic bread and salads. Those were great days, the pizzas tasted better, you could actually make out what the toppings were, and the pizza actually looked great. One of the specialities my Dad liked was the seafood pizza, you'd really be gambling with your gastro intestinal health nowadays getting seafood on a pizza, but back then it was great, as a boy I didn't like seafood apart from fish but I loved this pizza, because it was pizza, from the hut.

Of course times have changed quite alot since those days, now there are no more Pizza Hut restaurants as such, instead they are littered all over the place as delivery units that have no eat-in option. There are a few fast food pizza options as serious competition and of course a plethora of local pizzerias to tryout, this has its good and bad points, mainly good ones, because you have alot of choice and variety and bad because sometimes you accidently try a crap pizza. This, as you may guessed is where I come in. I will eat, photograph and describe as much pizza from as many different places as possible, so that you, the reader can make a more informed decision when making your pizza choice. I'm going to kick off the reviews with some articles on Indian fast food pizzas.

** Best so far - Indian Dominos **

Posted 29.05.2007

Flippin Pizza - Dubai

So when I heard of flippin pizza the first thing I thought of was a filipino stype pizza for some reason, must be due to living in Dubai, it's of course got to do with the art of actually flipping pizza dough in the air, as the box quite clearly illustrates, although in my defence, my confusion wasn't helped by the fact they offer a chicken adobo pizza, something I have never seen before. Anyway like most things in Dubai, there's lots of pizza places and I'm slowly working my way through them all and now it's flippin's turn. Ordering was a struggle, getting the operator to understand you sometimes here in Dubai is such a painful exercise and that is exactly what happened here, anyway after much repeating, sighing and hair pulling we got them to understand that we wanted a Bronx, a buffalo chicken and a make your own veg.

First up we go to the Bronx, not sure why it's named what it is but thats the last thing on my mind. Pizza looked pretty good, I love the way the pepperoni is on top of the pizza, not under the cheese which allows it to cook a little bit while in the oven giving it a nice texture and leaving the edges somewhat cripsy, thats a huge deal for me when it comes to pepperoni on pizzas. The aroma from this pizza was lovely too, I think no small part due to the slight baking of the pepperoni, the beef sausage was nice too, crumbled bit of it around the pizza these along with the olives, onions, capsicums, mushrooms and garlic makes this pizza look very appetising. And it did not disappoint in the flavour department, there's a good amount of cheese and perfect sauce combo that compliments the toppings superbly, the pepperoni and mushroom combo in some bites is great, as is the onion and beef, this whole pizza and its toppings just worked well and almost makes you forget about the base, it's a great base, the perfect thickness for me, not doughy and not so super thin that it droops like pasta. I also like the coverage of the pizza that goes almost all the way to the end of the crust.

The buffalo chicken pizza they offer looks a little plain on the menu with just chicken, buffalo sauce and blue cheese, I had to add something to it and chose onions as I reckon a good crunch factor was missing. This pizza too was very well made, obviously the same base and toppings coverage, the chicken was predictable, reasonable but a tad dry, something totally expected for chicken chunks on a pizza, the sauce was nice too but witout the onions I would have to say this pizza woulda been quite a boring affair, particularly after such a great start with the Bronx. It did have a little kick as you'd expect from buffalo sauce and luckily the blue cheese is used rather sparingly so there are no strong overpowering flavours coming from that, something that did worry me a bit when ordering.

The make your own vegetarian pizza we had was basically tomatoes, olives, capsicum, onions and mushrooms, to me this is a classic vegetarian pizza, I usually don't like zucchini, eggplant or artichoke type toppings on my veg pizza, it's fine to have them under a gourmet banner but a standard veg should be standard. The pizza was good but again, because the Bronx is so similar but has two meats on it, it kind of made this pizza redundant, it was bought to cater for someone who didn't eat beef, I will say though with some chilli flakes the overall quality of the pizza made this really enjoyable as well, I'm not someone that has to have meat on their pizza and lots of times I actually prefer a vegetarian pizza but that's only when the base and sauce and cheese are top notch and can really carry the pizza as a whole, and while they are good here, I think the crispy pepperoni on the Bronx wins it. All in all, a good pizza experience that will be had again, hopefully... I mean there are alot of pizza places to get through!

Base - 8 | Toppings - 7 | Sauce - 4 | Delivery - 5 | Garlic Bread - NA | Extras - NA | Overall - 7

Posted 16.03.2016

Jump Jump - Kris Kros - Dubai

I've wanted to try a pizza from these guys ever since I first ate here, the food is awesome. It's a cafe that does 'international' food, pizza being one of them. With such great food, and a dedicated pizza menu I thought doing a review was a fair thing. After calling the call centre and actually having a pleasant ordering experience we were ready to test! 35 minutes later a pepperoni, olives and mushrooms, an 'indian' and a quinoa salad arrive. My first issue was that despite informing the operator during the pleasant ordering experience of requiring change from a large note the drivers (why there was two of them I don't know) had no change, the second issue was the pizzas were just handed to me in their cardboard boxes, no pizza delivery pouch? Maybe they left that downstairs in the car or on the bike...

Immediately upon opening the pizza I had no doubt these guys do not have a pizza pouch, they were barely warm, the cheese had started to congeal which was no problem for the Indian pizza as there was no cheese on it! I don't necessarily have a problem with an outlet doing a cheese-less pizza, it adds variety and allows no-cheese liking weirdos to also have a 'pizza', but any pizza on your dedicated pizza menu that does not have mozzarella on it should explicitly state that. In their slight defense the menu does say something about curried house cheese but we saw no sign of any cheese on this pizza. The next surprise about this pizza was the taste, the base with the chicken, which although tasty had no discernible indianness to it at all, was quite wonderful, it was a crisp yet doughy base, whatever that sauce is was silky and creamy but not in a yuck dairy way, and the chicken with a hint of rocket here and there made for a pretty tasty number, we could only imagine how good this pizza would have been hot, or even warm.

The pepperoni pizza was an entirely different story, we already know about the congealed cheese and therefore cold pizza, but the base wasn't as nice as the chicken pizza and the pepperoni was, I dunno, weird, yes it was all beef pepperoni, but It was weird even for that, it almost looked like toy pepperoni. Another thing that bothered me about this pizza was the olives, they use green olives, I love green olives, but they are not meant to be on a pizza, that spot is reserved for black olives, something about the taste of a green olive that doesn't work well on a pizza, the mellower, softer flavour of a black olive compliments everything around it. It's for this reason I think I couldn't taste the mushroom at all, or perhaps it was a combination of that and the, what was by then, almost a solid block of cheese.

In summary, pizza from Kris Kros did make me wanna jump, straight to the phone and vent my frustrations at the numerous issues with this experience, however that didn't happen, like many of us do, I put up and shut up. I will definitely not be ordering pizza delivery from Kris Kros again, and next time I am at the restaurant I'll mention to whomever will listen that any pizza delivery should only be attempted with a pizza pouch amongst other things. I'll still say though, a visit to Kris Kros in person to taste their other offerings is recommended, their non-pizza items I have tried are quite delicious, in particular the gouda cheese sticks and the garlic chicken wings.

Base - 6 | Toppings - 4 | Sauce - 4 | Delivery - 3 | Garlic Bread - NA | Extras - 5 | Overall - 4

Posted 05.11.2014

800 Pizza - 800 Pizza - Dubai

With six branches spread out over Dubai, 800 pizza is a reasonably sized player in the Dubai pizza arena. Having soups, a good selection of sides, salads, pasta dishes, eleven predesigned pizzas and desserts they are well stocked to cater for all when ordering. After perusing the menu for quite some time we settled on a classic veggie and a diavola pepperoni extra punch, apparently the pepperoni used on the extra punch is more spicy. We also got the olive ascolane (deep fried balls of olives stuffed with spinach, zucchini and carrots) and the suppli, which are basically arancini balls (deep fried rice balls with mozzarella and tomato sauce). The ordering process was fairly straightforward, first time ordering can be a pain, especially here, setting up the name and address with the operator has proven to be an excruciating experience with certain outlets, however the operator I got was able to understand me and I could him! The only somewhat strange question I was asked was whether I wanted raw onions or for them to be cooked along with the pizza, I of course opted for the latter. A little while after ordering an SMS was received, our order is out for delivery with our driver, Allan. Nice touch, we now know the food is on the way.

Very soon afterwards the doorbell rings, as Allan is handing the order over we both realise something isn't right, there's a box missing, after a quick roll call the missing item is the suppli, it appears we got a double order of the olives instead. Allan calls the store, after a super long discussion in Filipino and Allan gradually making his way more and more into the house, he eventually says that another driver will be dropping them off later, as annoyed as I am because I really wanted them and that the pizza has been sitting here all this time while Allan was on a call that shoulda taken 30 seconds, I couldn't do anything but accept the situation. The pizza smelt sooooo good, either that or we were just starving. The super thin base being cooked in the wood fire oven, the fresh delicious looking toppings had us salivating. The classic veggie delivered a springtime farmers dream, a veritable vegetable patch on a pizza, it was very tasty and the vegetables tasted, well like vegetables. I'm not usually a fan of too many things on a pizza, 2-3 toppings is my max but this one, with the corn and broccoli along with the normal veg toppings really worked well. As nice as this pizza was it was lacking a little punch, a lot of veg pizzas can suffer from this however a rare few are saved from this by a tangy or zesty tomato sauce base and/or some herbs like oregano or basil, while the sauce was quite ok I still felt something was missing, maybe it's the meat eater in me!

Next we have the diavolo pizza with additional toppings of mushrooms, olives and onions. Being Dubai this pepperoni is pure beef, so there's definitely going to be a difference in flavour from what I'm used to, this pepperoni is also the extra punch version. Upon biting into this pizza the initial reaction is of content. It was a reasonable pizza, the pepperoni was pleasant, the olives and onions really help here adding a little salt and a touch of sweetness to the pizza, I couldn't really taste the mushrooms to be honest. The more I ate this pizza the more I liked it, while I don't think you could say the pepperoni had punch, it definitely had flavour and the whole combination of toppings with that wood fired goodness made for a very nice pizza experience. However I can't help but think that I made this pizza, I would imagine without my additional toppings this pizza would be far to plain, having said that though a pizza place has to have a standard pepperoni pizza. Overall, a nice pizz and the pig was not missed.

Both pizzas were tasty but a little light on the cheese, however for a thin wood fire pizza it was sufficient. The diavolo pizza was not sliced thru properly resulting in torn pieces sometimes, which is a little annoying. The fried olives were above average, and the suppli, well by the time they arrived we were so full they were kept for breakfast, reheated they were a tad stodgy but flavourful, I'd have them again, if they get delivered that is. Would I order from these guys again? Yes, I would, especially when craving that wood fire flavour, the overall meal made up for the mishap in delivery (hence the low score), I should also mentioned that delivery (both times) was quite timely.

Base - 5 | Toppings - 7 | Sauce - 5 | Delivery - 4 | Garlic Bread - NA | Extras - 6 | Overall - 6

Posted 18.10.2014

Hot Box - Dominos Australia

Fast food pizza, a staple really, the solution to many of life's problems, but the best one being dinner, and sometimes lunch. Whether it's cold and rainy outside, like it is at the moment, or you're watching the game with some mates and everyone's intoxicated, could be that you're in the middle of Gears of War co-op with a friend and can't be bothered moving, whatever the reason, pizza delivery is safe option with plenty of variety, and fast food pizza delivery is even better, there's plenty of deals, the pizzas are consistent, and they deliver always!

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Dominos Pizza has been on the Aussie pizza market for quite some time now, it was in fierce competition with Pizza Hut and the now closed Pizza Haven, and of course the numerous Pizzeria's around the place. In recent years though I think Dominos has started to break away from the other big player in fast food pizza delivery, the Hut. With more choices, more interesting topping choices, a huge number of crusts to choose from and tasty new sides to go along with your pizza, they seem to be setting the marker that the Hut seems to forever be chasing, it's for this reason I prefer Dominos when I get fast food pizza delivery.

There's quite a few Pizzas on the Dominos menu that I go through and it'd be impossible to write about all of them, so I've chosen a few that I get often, Chicken Monaco, Fetta Vegetarian (fairly new) and El Scorcho. First up is the Chicken Monaco, with the seasoned chicken, tomato pieces, onions and mushrooms, it sounds fairly simple, and it is, the chicken tastes like the seasoning is salt and pepper, the vegetables, particularly the mushrooms are lacking, this pizza tastes more like a margarita with a bit of chicken. Looking for something with more taste, I grabbed a slice of the El Scorcho, with beef, onions, tomato pieces, pepperoni, jalapenos, and chilli I was definitely going to taste something here. The first thing you taste is chilli, they aren't kidding, this pizza is hot, and if you get a bite with a few jalapenos together you'll go for a bit of beer to put out the fire quick smart. I feel the combination on this pizza was perfect, the pepperoni with beef the onions and chilli flavours come together quite well, and on the thin crust all you taste is the toppings, another huge advantage of Dominos, the super thin crust really is just a base.

The last but certainly not least pizza to feature is the reasonably new Fetta Veg, this pizza really has transformed vegetarian options from fast food pizza places, before this they were always bland and boring, with dry, small bits of capsicums, and mushrooms thrown onto a base with tomato and cheese really felt like you were just eating a margarita. The sundried tomatoes, fetta, deluge of olives, and garlic really bring the rest of this pizza to life. I'm a fan of vegetarian pizzas, but not from a fast food pizza store, this has changed all that, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, whenever I get Dominos, the Fetta Veg will be consumed. Another great thing about Dominos is because the base is so thin you can demolish an entire pizza in one sitting, leaving nothing to get even older in the fridge, however if you are in the position of having to finish off a Dominos thin crust in the morning I do recommend the pizza sandwich, simply take two slices of left over, reheated pizza, place them topping side together and voila! I guess Dominos Pizza are reasonable, even good when compared with other fast food pizzas, the toppings are a little scarce, the mushrooms are often dry and boring, but the for the price, speed, convenience, and consistent taste it's hard to knock these pizzas. The extras they have are also quality, chicken kickers and wings, fudge brownies, and cheesy garlic bread. It's easy to see why Dominos reigns supreme on fast food pizza street!

Base - 6 | Toppings - 5 | Sauce -5 | Delivery - 6 | Garlic Bread - 3 | Extras - 7 | Overall - 6

Posted 19.06.2007

Your Cousin - Vinny's Woodfire Pizza - 1 Maroubra Rd Maroubra (02) 9315 5044

Vinny's has been on this corner for as long as I can remember, but it's been one of those places that I never thought to try till as late as a couple of years ago. On a friday with some people over, after some beers and what not the hunger pangs started to kick in, and one the troops suggested we try Vinny's pizza. I'm really glad we did, since then it's been one of my regular pizza deliveries, with consistent quality and good delivery time, and a fantastic green salad that makes you feel that little bit less guilty. In addition to 'Australian Style' pizzas as they call it, gourmet pizzas feature on the menu with the typical gourmet toppings such as eggplant, artichokes and well, lots of other stuff. My favourite is the standard chicken pizza here, its just chicken with some capsicum, olives, onions and mushrooms and is delicious no small part due to the tender chicken breast pieces used. The other half of the chicken pizza pictured here is a pepperoni and onion, simple and effective. The base of the pizza's from Vinny's are flat dry, bases, they don't feel oily at all, and you can tell these have been in a proper pizza oven rather than a conveyor belt style cooking machine, they even have a floury texture to them when you pick the slices, it's a great base, not my favourite, but certainly one you can be in the mood for.

Generally speaking, the toppings from Vinny's are very generous and plentiful, each slice has a share of all the toppings that the pizza features, the olives are unseeded but are real olives, and the pepperoni is thin but also a good size. I hadn't actually tried a gourmet pizza from these guys, as I tend to lean towards simplier flavours in my pizza, all this mixed up stuff is too complicated, when I eat pizza I like to taste the pizza, anyway so I ordered a couple a few nights back just for this review, the first one a potato pizza! I think I got this one as it's not a complicated gourmet one, potato slices, rosemary, parmesan and some other stuff. I wasn't too sure about the look of this pizza when I opened the box, and after eating it, well I had two slices and thought I'd best move on. I'll quickly mention the garlic pizza here, it wasn't that great to be honest, and probably won't bother with it again as the garlic bread roll is heaps better, but more on that later.

The next pizza looked alot better when I opened the lid, fresher, greener, and corn, I love corn, on anything, and while it's not a classic pizza topping I welcome it. This pizza was fantastic, from the roasted capsicums to the olives, the corn and the spinach, superb, and definitely being added to the regular list, this pizza was so good that it made up for the ordinary potato one. The garlic bread that these guys do is one that has to be mentioned, it's by far my favourite roll style garlic bread anywhere, obviously the secret is in the garlic butter mix, and it's sensational, at the end of a busy night you can swing past Vinny's and get a whole bunch of them for a dollar each, although one has to wonder what you would do with five rolls of garlic bread at 11:30pm on a Saturday night. In conclusion this pizzeria is recommended, with the garlic bread being a must try.

Base - 6 | Toppings - 7 | Sauce -6 | Delivery - 7 | Garlic Bread - 9 | Extras - 6 | Overall - 8

Posted 05.06.2007

On the Corner - Pizza Corner - India

A slightly smaller player in the emerging pizza market in India is Pizza Corner. This franchise doesn't exist in Oz, so a comparison can't be made, however this smaller player has come up with some interesting and innovative ideas to remain competitive, forcing their rivals onto their toes! Below we have one of the many vegetarian pizza's available, much like Dominos and Pizza Hut in India, Pizza Corner offer a veritable smorgasbord of different pizza variations for the vegetarian. This pizza was good but didn't compare with the Dominos one, the Pizza Corner one felt too doughy and the crust was too thick, the toppings didnt go out far enough. This is easily forgivable once you see the unique and crazy 'Conizza'! The Conizza, is well, a pizza in a cone. How on earth does this work? You ask....

Well it's really not that complicated, its just a large slice of pizza that is rolled into a cone shape, it has a little more sauce and concentrates the cheese on the top, and of course the base is a little firmer than your standard thin base. The amazing part is, this actually seems to work quite well, as you can see it's also deliverable and arrived in perfect condition, which really surprised me. Anyway it's a very interesting thing to try, and is edible on the run, just like an ice cream cone, so that's cool too. However, given the choices of different types of pizza in India, this is something you would only really try once, but is also very doable as a quick snack on the go, which opens it up for the possibility of being eaten more often.

Base - 6 | Toppings - 6 | Sauce -5 | Delivery - 7 | Garlic Bread - 5 | Extras - 8 | Overall - 6

Posted 21.05.2007

The Really Hot Box - Dominos - India

The box with the dots reigns supreme amongst the pizza heavyweights in India as it does here in Oz (in my opinion anyway). Dominos always seems very keen on adding new pizzas, new side dishes and new promotions. One such promotion was one unlike anything I had ever seen before anywhere. The cheeseburger pizza. This pizza had burger patties and cheese in the base! A little skeptical I would have been mad not to try this first in the pizza world.

These pictures speak for themselves, the pizza was actually quite nice, and suprised me completely in it's 'eatability'. The toppings on this cheeseburger pizza was just some capsicum, tomatoes, onions and chicken tikka. The combination of burger meat and chicken was superbly weird. The top of this pizza is below to the right. Other pizzas at Dominos are also sensational, below to the left you have the spicy lamb mince pizza, with hot lamb, jalapenos, more chilli, capsicums, onions and mushrooms this pizza is not for the faint hearted, very hot as it is crunchy you might have a painful time when it comes to toilet time the next day! Disgusting but true. Again I must comment on the vegetarian pizzas, they are absolutely amazingly good. Below to the left you have a typical one, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, mushrooms, olives, capsicum and corn, and it makes for a delicious fresh tasting pizza. To the right we have the magnificent chicken seekh kebab, and again, this is one of the many, many chicken pizzas available from Dominos. When ordering I wasn't sure that I wanted to try a pizza with little bits of chicken seekh on them but boy am I glad I did, it, like all the above pizzas was fantastic, and, as big a call as this is I would say it was probably the best pizza I have had from Dominos India.

All in all I would say that the Dominos experience in India beat the Pizza Hut one, Pizza Hut has more established restaurants where you can go and dine in leisure, it has a larger selection of Indian style pizzas, but really that's not what a pizza is about, its about how good you can make a general pizza, and that is clearly where Dominos shine. Every single time on delivery or pickup the pizzas are hot, crisp and crunchy, there are more exciting sides and promo pizzas to try, and somehow manage to stir up more excitement than the hut. If you're in India for only one night, and for some reason you choose to have a pizza on your one and only night there, make it a Dominos one.

Base - 8 | Toppings - 8 | Sauce -6 | Delivery - 7 | Garlic Bread - 6 | Extras - 7 | Overall - 8

Posted 10.05.2007

Indian Huts - Pizza Hut - India

'Fast food' pizza in India really isn't on the same level as fast food pizza here in Oz, Pizza Hut pizza's are actually really quite nice, even delivered. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we all used to go as a family to Pizza Hut when they actually had restaurants here and enjoy a few different types of pan pizza with the salad bar thrown in, its a far cry from what Pizza Hut Australia churn out now. Above are some run of the mill pizza's from the menu, top left is a lamb seekh kebab, which really is a vegetarian pizza with seekh kebabs split down the middle and spread out over it. The next one is a tandoori chicken pizza, it's got spanish onions, fresh tomatoes and green chillis. Both are very tasty, great dough, fresh toppings, and HOT when delivered! Above, at an actual restaurant we had a corn vegetarian and an Indian style chickpea pizza. One amazing thing about all pizza joints in India is the sheer number of vegetarian and chicken pizzas, each chain seems to have roughly 10 vegetarian varieties and at least 5 or 6 chicken ones to choose from.

The corn vegetarian on the right was incredibly delicious, how they make vegetarian pizzas taste so good is remarkable. The chickpea pizza to the right was good too but it was a little spicy for a pizza, not too hot, but too spicy, hard to explain but I'm not used to a pizza being spicy, like a curry. It was still good but I liked this one the least. If you're in India and feel like a pizza I really do recommend trying an Indian style pizza from Pizza Hut, there are quite a few different ones to try. The sides that are available are also really nice, not only do they have the standard garlic bread, but the garlic bread supreme pictured above are just like mini pizzas, they are so good and the only problem with them is the danger of getting too full from devouring a few servings.

Potato wedges with dipping sauce, and yes, they're pretty spicy, its about variety and something Pizza Hut down under just isn't doing, I can't remember the last time I ordered Pizza Hut, infact I think it was when I was in India last, and the fact that down here, Pizza Hut just doesn't seem interested in offering new different things to try along with, before or after your Pizza means the next time will probably be when I'm back in India. These are the best though, Garlic mushrooms with some spice, there's no way to describe these but sensational. One could be forgiven for being a tad skeptical here, spicy garlic mushrooms from a fast food Pizza place? At only Rs. 45, which is about AUD$1.50 it's a gamble well worth taking. I really wish Pizza Hut Australia was this good, or as good as it once was.

Base - 7 | Toppings - 7 | Sauce -6 | Delivery - 6 | Garlic Bread - 6 | Extras - 8 | Overall - 7

Posted 03.05.2007

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