Don’t get a pizza to yourself. Unless you have experience on the competitive-eating circuit, an entire pizza will destroy you. It’s not that they’re particularly heavy or cheese-dense, just extremely big.
Melbourne pizza aficionados will recognise the monstrous size and style of Epic Pizza from Fitzroy’s Shawcross Pizza; it’s by the same owners, Matthew John and Damien Thompson. “All the pizzas in Melbourne are a similar style, all Italian. We're big fans of the American way of doing it,” says John.
The concept here is New York-style; bare concrete walls, a glowing sign and, most importantly, a long glass display counter of pizzas by the slice (the pizzas are available almost entirely for takeaway or delivery). The pizzas are inspired by their US counterparts but they are not trying to make authentic American pizzas. “There's definitely a modern or Australian twist to what we're doing,” says John.
The pizza base isn’t thick, or thin but somewhere in-between. It’s got a good chewiness, flops at the tip and has a fluffy, crunchy edge. The toppings are emblematic of John’s Australian twist. “In NYC, they usually do three-to-four different kinds of cheese, a tomato base and something as simple as oregano. It's that simple. Really basic.”
The dough goes through a 24-hour fermentation process to build flavour and digestibility; the scamorza (a cheese similar to mozzarella used on many of the pizzas here) comes from a partnership with Victoria’s That’s Amore. The pepperoni comes from a local butcher.
Here there are some classics, but they’re joined by pizzas such as the Notorious P.I.G, with bacon, barbeque sauce, pork sausage, jalapeños and charred onion; the Lambageddon, with hummus, mozzarella, lamb, peas, caraway seeds and slaw; and the Happy Daize, with tomato, mushroom, spinach, olives, onion and vegan ricotta. When its licence settles it will deliver of all of the above, with beer.