In my mind, a typical New York pizza slice is thin, has minimal toppings and passes the flop test – a challenge of gravity where you hold a slice and pinch two sides of the crust together to see if the slice remains perfectly straight (making it a good slice), or if it flops (making it, well, a flop).

They say it’s the water in New York that makes the pizza so good, but Ali Cengiz, owner and operator of Sunnyside Sliced in Mentone, has debunked that notion.

On a sunny autumnal Melbourne afternoon at around lunchtime, I ventured into the diner, cast my eyes on the pizza it sells by the slice on display and ordered one plain cheese slice and one salami and jalapeno slice.

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These were swiftly removed from the cabinet, placed in the oven to reheat and then lovingly drizzled with accompaniments: olive oil for the cheese, Mike’s Hot Honey and shaved pecorino for the salami slice.

Starting from the bottom, the base had a perfectly even brown colouring with small charred spots – the result of being cooked at a lower temperature for six to seven minutes. The team nailed the balance of a crisp base without it cracking, resulting in a delightfully textured chew.

The crust had a perfect amount of lift: it’s not a giant puff that steals 60 per cent of the slice’s real estate, it’s crunchy to the touch, and there’s a soft and satisfying reward as you near its end.

The NYC cheese pizza is the earmark of a good slice shop because its simplicity doesn’t allow room to hide. At Sunnyside, the blend of mozzarella and aged provolone and a dusting of oregano on this slice is near perfect.

As far as the salami slice is concerned, the toppings are balanced and the tomato sauce has serious flavour but doesn’t detract; if anything, it provides the perfect springboard for the sweet and salty toppings of the salami, jalapeno and hot honey to shine.