“This is the first premium dog-friendly building in Sydney,” says owner Peter Georges, with a nod to the vibrant mural of a pizza-eating Boston Terrier adorning one wall of his otherwise minimalist, modern space.
The mural - the work of Melbourne artist Dan Wenn from 90 Degrees - perfectly reflects both the changing face of Waterloo, and this premium gourmet pizza joint that’s opened to service it.
We sit down at one of the communal tables, watching the post-work dog owners parading by through the open, sash-less windows.
They let plenty of air and fading late afternoon light into this well-designed space. We’re joined – even on their first week of operation - by a wide cross-section of this urban community. Most are local residents in this rapidly expanding medium density suburb, but some are old Utopia Coffee customers, here to experience the love project of Peter and Nicole Georges.
Well known for their ability to produce a consistent, quality coffee at high volume, and for their excellent customer service, this coffee-focused pair have now turned their hand to pizza.
They’re bringing over the same attention to detail: from good systems, to top of the line equipment - including a shiny Double Stack Middleby Marshall oven - to high quality ingredients, all prepared with care in the open-plan kitchen.
Their Szechuan Chilli Prawn Pizza ($21/large) impresses on quality and price, with good quality prawns rolled in an (almost too-liberal) amount of the volatile peppercorns. The numbing spices are gentled by a sweet chilli base and a scattering of super-fresh mint and coriander. The pizza’s crust is uniformly golden brown, and each slice holds up well in two fingers.
The Beef Cheek Pizza ($20) takes all your home-cooked dinner needs and lays them onto a pizza, with slow-cooked beef cheek, caramelised onion and mozzarella laid onto a cauliflower puree topped base. Greens are taken care of with a scattering of gremolata, and it’s rounded out with a dash of truffle oil. It’s a definite winner; and even with this dense and filling topping, the base holds up to the two finger test.
We round out our meal with a Rocket and Parmesan Salad ($7) and some Sparkling Water ($4.50/700ml) as their liquor license is still being processed by Mike Baird's bumbling bureaucrats.
Joining the skate park up the road and the hip urban green, it’s clear this space is set to become another community hub where Waterloo locals can gather over a shared love of pizza.
Shop 1, 356 George Street, Waterloo
Ph: (02) 8381 3333