When Rosso Pomodoro opened in Balmain in 2006 it redefined Sydney’s pizza scene. Its concept was simple – Italian toppings only, no half-and-half and bases proven for 72 hours.
That’s still the deal in 2019, and also a policy replicated at its second outpost.
Inside the narrow, tomato-coloured Bondi Junction venue – next door to its sister venue Osteria Riva – you’ll find Rosso Pomodoro’s signature red seats, lighting that spells out “pizza”, and the extremely delicious blistered pizzas the place built its reputation on.
“Our pizzas are a blend between Neapolitan style – thick edges, a bit soft and sometimes undercooked – and Roman style, meaning flat and crispy,” says Ketty Laffi, who with Giancarlo Bazzocchi owns the place. “The base takes 72 hours to mature making it harder to work with but easier to digest."
The bread discs spend around two and a half minutes in the oven; unless you’ve ordered takeaway or delivery. Then there’s a different approach. “To prevent it getting soggy we move the pizza to a different deck – we have three in the oven – for an extra 30 seconds,” says Laffi. “This deck heats from the bottom so prevents the top overcooking but makes the base extra crisp.”
The menu is the same here as it is in Balmain, and Laffi says although they are fairly traditional – which tends to imply minimal toppings – their pizzas are generously garnished. “I don't believe less is more,” she says. “We think there has to be a balance, and when people spend $25 for what essentially is water and flour, there has to be more good quality and fresh ingredients to complete the dish.”
There are two signature pizzas: the white base patate e salsiccia, made with 125 grams of fresh buffalo mozzarella, Italian sausage, potato and rosemary, and prosciutto, made with tomatoes, cheese and the option of five cured meats, ranging from serano for $24 to the jamon Iberico for $30.
A couple of salads, antipasti – such as bresaola with rocket, shaved parmesan and a splash of extra virgin olive oil – and four vegan pizzas round out the menu. The vegan rita (tomato, “NOzzarella” and basil) will set you back 20 bucks.
When asked how Rosso Pomodoro maintains quality and keeps competitive in an increasingly crowded food genre, Laffi doesn’t pause before replying. “We keep investing in quality and being consistently good,” she says proudly. “We stress to everyone who works with us to be paranoid about all the little details … so our pizza remains the best in Sydney, which it has been for the past 15 years.”
Rosso Pomodoro Bondi Junction
94 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction
02 9369 2217
Want to compare Rosso Pomodoro to other great pizzas in Sydney? Check out our guide.
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on March 5, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.