Freelance writer and blogger from Sydney (ex-Melbourne). Avid foodie and traveller. Loves dogs.
Published October 27th 2018
Until recently, the question I've been asking Sydneysiders has been: 'Where do I get a decent pizza in Sydney?'
And while I've been given some not-so-terrible recommendations, I have yet to come across a pizza place that I've really loved – or liked enough to visit again. So when we found out that a new pizza place was opening in Newtown, just around the corner from our favourite coffee shop, I knew I had to check it out. The fact that it was going to be run by the guys behind LP's Quality Meats, Porteno and Continental Deli meant that it was going to be no ordinary pizza joint.
My partner and I dropped in for lunch a few days after they officially opened, no doubt expecting to encounter the typical teething problems – except that there weren't really any.
The menu at Bella Brutta isn't extensive. There is antipasti, a few salads and a small dessert menu alongside the pizzas, 'but no pastas' warned one of the waitresses. I did notice that the menu seemed to cater to vegetarians though – for some reason, there was just one meat antipasti dish.
Giving the starters a miss, we dove straight into the pizzas. At the moment, there are only five pizza options to choose from, two of which are vegetarian. I relish any opportunity to eat clams when I'm out so I ordered the surf clam pizza. Meanwhile, my partner ordered the pepperoni pizza.
I'd say Bella Brutta's pizza is the closest thing to a good Neapolitan-style pizza in Sydney. The base is cardboard-thin, yet sturdy; the edges are beautifully charred and pillowy and the dough itself is light and chewy. It's not too bready either, so you're not leaving the place feeling bloated.
My clam pizza was topped with a delicious combination of surf clams, pecorino, fermented chilli, garlic and parsley. Traditional, no. Tasty, yes. My partner's pepperoni pizza was just as lovely. It had the usual suspects – tomato, fior di latte, parmesan and pepperoni as well as a sprinkling of fennel seeds.
One pizza will definitely fill you up; in fact, I suggest ordering two pizzas between three and maybe a couple of starters or dessert to split. Unfortunately, we were too full to enjoy any of the desserts but that's okay – we'll be back for round two to try them.