For those of you who somehow haven’t heard of the Hidden Pizza Restaurant, it’s a new pizza joint that opened on Monday night (12th April) that’s, you guessed it, hidden. The idea is that if you somehow manage to track them down, they’ll reward you with a free pizza.
What it actually is, is a marketing exercise for Yellow Pages run with the precision of a Special Forces operation that also manages to carry a broader message about sustainability, quality food and shows how dining and technology can successfully meld.
But don’t let that put you off, this is a great little pizza joint and to their credit they have put together a great team to make it work. The space has been designed by Joost Bakker, the man behind the Greenhouse project in Fed Square early last year.
Most importantly the pizza’s great. The chef is Tony Fazio who has been cooking pizzas in Melbourne for most of his adult life, most recently at Porcino in Collingwood (as well as stints at Stokehouse and his own, Fazio’s in Hampton). The base is made from biodynamic flour, ground on the premises. The toppings are simple and top-notch; think fresh mozzarella and good tomatoes.
Here’s how it all works; once you get hold of the number (guess where from) and jump through the various hoops they have you do, get yourself down to the secret location. Here they’ll ask you to sign a release to give permission for them to film you; the Hidden Pizza posse will be posting images on their Facebook page through May. Once they have your number, they know your order and take your name. When you get to the kitchen counter they will most likely be calling you to pick up your pizza.
Don’t come here looking for a beer or wine, this is about enjoying one pizza and your jar (yep, jar) of homemade lemonade that you are handed when you enter the dining room. As it’s all free, the staff are expecting a crowd; it’s about eating and leaving.
The dining room is a sustainable dream come true, recycled timbers and plyboard, telephone books (lots of yellow ones) and cardboard pizza boxes line the walls. Joost’s iconic plants and wired light shades are intermittently placed, the room is dimly lit and is dotted with recycled-wood stools which both serve as table and chair.
This is on for two weeks only. It’s fun, it’s urban, it tastes good and definitely gets you thinking about the direction marketing, technology and food will travel in the future.