Tucked in behind the Redfern cop shop in a shared pedestrian zone that forms part of the thoroughfare to Redfern Station, Redforno Pizzeria & Bar is likely a venue you’ve walked right by. If you take notice of nothing else in this review, put it in your head that next time you’re in the neighbourhood, you should stop in.
While the front of the store, which includes al fresco tables, seems geared towards eating on the run, it widens out at the rear into a small but nicely furnished dining room. Rustic wood cabinets sit along a store-long counter, effectively creating pleasantly private dining spaces for solo diners, keen to consume a personal pizza on the way home from work.
From the gourmet pizza range, the star-shaped crust of the Romagnola ($23) will endear itself to those who like crunch. Minimal toppings – mozzarella fior di latte, a smear of truffle cream, and cherry tomatoes, are topped with neat rolls of rocket-stuffed prosciutto, applied raw so they eat like quality antipasto on a pizza base. It eats better than I’m describing it, but only by virtue of Chef Giuseppe Barillari’s commitment to top-notch produce.
This commitment is also evident in the Redforno Salad ($13) teaming plentiful crisp walnuts with rocket, herbs, cream cheese, and thin slices of juicy pear, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. I could eat this salad for days.
Pizza is a beer food for me, and seeing one I hadn’t tried on their short list, meant Baladin Isaac ($10) was the order of the day. This Italian white beer is fruity on the nose, with apricot and chamomile, with a refreshing, semi-sweet finish, so it lends itself well to savoury pizza.
Now I’m generally not a fan of chicken on pizza – all too often it’s either dry or flavourless. However when quality chicken is used economically, and teamed with mozzarella fior di latte, capsicum, olives and Pomodoro di San Marzano D.O.P. on the Aussie Chicken ($22), it can change my mind. Of course Barillari is presenting it on an easy-to-digest semolina base, with the Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano region (considered international best practice for pizza) so that certainly helped it get over the line.
While the Pizza with Nutella Art with Surprise ($25) was a gooey, strawberry-centred, chocolate-drizzled calzone bridge too far for me personally, I did enjoy distributing the fifth slice to a solo diner turning green with envy at a neighbouring table. I assured him he was saving our group of four from ourselves, as we each glutted on our own individual gelato scoop and blueberry-topped, Nutella-filled pizza pocket.
The Ompty crew tell me that - perhaps by virtue of their railway location - Redforno Pizzeria & Bar also do a roaring trade in breakfast. After this surprising meal, I’m determined to get back there and find out more…
Redforno Pizzeria & Bar
Shop 1/157 Redfern Street, Redfern
Ph: (02) 8068 5597