When an Italian friend recommends a pizza joint as one of the best in Sydney, you would not think twice about going 40 kilometres in search of the place. Drive 40 kilometres is what we did on a rather cold, wintery night when all of us were craving some warm pizza. Our destination; Margharita Pizza Bar in Abbotsford, a small unassuming place, which we almost missed for lack of pomp and pageantry in advertising itself. From the numbers calling in and the amount of phone orders received during our short time there though, it was obvious Margharita Pizza Bar most certainly did not require to be loud to let their presence be known, as they were already a hit among many.
The small eatery is a place you go to for the purpose of eating and nothing else. Not to sit and chat, not to socialise, but to eat. The homely setting with a large dining table in the middle taking up most of the space and several other tables and chairs laid out to sit at serves this purpose well.
Selecting your pizza is made easy as there is a menu with detailed descriptions as well as images of the pizzas displayed up on the opposite wall. The menu offers plenty of variety with meat lovers, seafood lovers and vegetarians all catered for.
Our heads turned from one wall to the other several times before our decision was made. With the choices decided upon we then went on to decide the sizes of pizzas we wanted to order. Margherita Bar offers two pizza sizes Ė a large, which you have the option to make a half and half, and a medium.
Our first choice was the traditional margherita pizza. How can one not have a margherita pizza at the Margherita Pizza Bar? The tomato, the mozzarella, the basil and the olive oil all worked in perfect harmony, making this the perfect choice to begin our pizza journey.
There is no question of authenticity when it comes to the flavours at the Pizza Bar. As I savoured the mouth-watering slice of margherita pizza I felt like I was back in Rome sitting at a small eatery buzzing with activity whille savouring one of the best slices of pizza around.
The slightly spiced Diavola pizza (medium, $16) was different to any I have tasted before. The spiciness of the hot salami and the salty flavour of the anchovies added a delightful, yet not too overpowering flavour and created a song in my mouth which I wanted never to end. Our third choice was Cafona (medium, $17) which not only tasted good, but looked delightful also with prosciutto peeping though the green of the heaped rocket leaves.
Adding to the whole Margherita experience is the way the pizza arrives at your table. Again there are no fancy presentations of pizza placed on wooden boards or on towering plates; the pizza arrives at the table on paper. Yes, the pizza is served on a large sheet of paper that can be used as a plate or even to wipe your hands (though there are plenty of paper serviettes on offer). With our cravings for pizza satisfactorily curbed we were in total agreement with our Italian friend - he was spot on, inarguably Margherita Pizza Bar does serve the best pizzas in town.
A review of Margehrita pizza bar in Abbostford isnít complete without a special mention of Charlotte - the life of the place. Charlotte is an all in one person at Margherita; she delights you with a warm smile and friendly greeting as you enter the place, explains their pizzas and takes your order, all of which is done with much politeness. If the place isnít too busy she wanders around chatting to the patrons while their pizzas are being made and then she serves, clears and cleans all with a smile on her face. Hats off to Charlotte for her efficiency, and to the chefs, for creating such authentic and delightful fare.
Where: 547 Great North Rd, Abbotsford, 2046
Why: Authentic flavours, friendly and efficient staff.
Cost: From $13.00 up to $40.00
When: Tuesday - Friday 5pm - 10pm. Saturday - Sunday 3pm - 10pm. Closed Monday.