I’m a bit fussy about pizza. There are a lot of bad pizza parlours around, and I know I’m eating a good one when the last slice tastes as good as the first one did. To me, a bad pizza is greasy, too heavy on the dough, has toppings that don’t complement each other, or has ridiculous toppings like chicken tikka. Don’t put chicken tikka on a pizza – if you like chicken tikka, have it in an indian restaurant with salad and yoghurt sauce, or even better, make it yourself. So yes, I could rant about bad pizza all day.
Now what makes a good pizza ? It’s a personal choice, but I prefer the traditional Italian pizzas with a thinner crust. I think that meat on a pizza can be too heavy, so I prefer the simple vegetarian styles, but I do occasionally have a hankering for a Pizza Express Pollo ad Astra, and because they don’t have Pizza Express in Perth, I have to make my own with chicken, red onion, sweet capsicum peppers, garlic, cajun spice, mozzarella and tomato.
My benchmark is a margherita – if a pizza parlour makes a good margherita, then I know that all of their other pizzas will be good too. If I am fed up after 2 slices, then forget it.
So – where to go for pizza in Joondalup ? There are three parlours that I like, I don’t have a favourite out of these three – they are very different atmospheres, so really the choice boils down to what kind of evening I fancy.
The first restaurant is Davini’s in Regents Park Road. This is a family run Italian deli and pizza parlour. They have a few tables inside and some on the pavement outside. The owner is delightful, a really nice man, and the pizzas are delicious, nicely loaded up and good pizza dough. They will also prepare a salad if you ask. The only drawback is that you shouldn’t come here if you are in a hurry. The pizzas are delicious because a lot of love goes into them, and if they are busy you will wait at least 40 minutes for your pizza – even if they are not busy, you will probably wait 25 minutes.
The second pizza parlour is called A Slice of Italy. This is located on Edith Cowan University’s Joondalup campus. You can’t park right outside, you have to park in an adjacent car park, but it is only a short walk to get there. The restaurant has a view of the campus lake, and has tables outside on the decking.
Inside looks very ‘uni’, it’s a bit messy with comfy sofas and cushions that look like a Rubik’s cube, and you can play Connect 4 while you wait. You can also get a ‘Study cup’ of coffee with 5 shots of coffee in it. However, what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in friendliness and quality. The owner is such a lovely guy, he will even make you a ‘half and half’ pizza if you want to share with somebody, but you don’t want the same toppings.
A Slice of Italy offers local delivery, they are open at weekends, they have a nice selection of soft drinks, and they sell Lavazza coffee. On my last visit the owner even gave us some free palmier biscuits.
The third restaurant that I like is Leapfrogs cafe at Wanneroo Botanical Golf. Of the three, this is one that you can dress up to go to – or you can go casual, it doesn’t matter. It is licensed and has a lovely setting amongst the botanical gardens. All of the pizzas are cooked on the woodfired oven and you choose your own toppings.
You generally have to book – they are open Thurs-Sun for pizza, and they also offer quite a varied menu of non-pizza items. They usually have entertainment, which is sometimes good, and sometimes not so great depending on the kind of music that you enjoy. It is very pretty setting with fairy lights and has a resort feel to it. For me, the only drawback is that it is very family-oriented, so a fairly romantic evening can be interrupted with children misbehaving close by. For others, the fact that it is child-friendly is an advantage, so it all depends on your point of view. The most important thing though is the food – and the pizzas are good.