I’m going to say it – Nom Pizza is now my favourite pizza in Sydney. Hell, I even like the crusts! Opening in June this year on the corner of Sydenham and Victoria Roads in Marrickville, a handy (and dangerous) five-minute walk from our house, Nom is the real deal. They make ‘la vera pizza Napoletana’, or true pizza from Naples, characterised by a thin, crisp base, sparsely topped with a few simple, fresh ingredients and cooked in a brick, wood-fired oven. At Nom they make the dough once a week and if you’re really lucky you get it a few days old (as we did on Thursday night) when the flavour and texture is fantastic: chewy, slightly salty and… oh, I don’t know what the flavour is, it’s just delicious!
Prior to this week I had tried the pumpkin and feta (roasted pumpkin, feta, pine nuts, rocket, truffle oil), the prawn (buffalo mozzarella, garlic prawns, chili) and the BBQ meatlovers (BBQ sauce, buffalo mozzarella, double smoked leg ham, salami, chorizo, pepperoni). They were all divine, although the BBQ meat lovers is clearly a bit of a concession to Australian tastes and would no doubt be considered an abomination in Naples!
On Thursday night as I’m walking home from the station, two of the guys are standing out the front of Nom with freshly made pizzas on wooden boards, offering slices to passers-by and trying to drum up a bit of custom. I’m drawn in by a cheeky smile from the other side of the junction and I avail myself of a slice of the ‘funghi’ with thinly sliced mushrooms, fior di latte cheese (like mozzarella but drier), a scattering of dried chili flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s so damn good I decide right there on the spot to put the defrosted snags in the fridge for another day and persuade Mr T it’s a Nom Pizza night. It doesn’t take much to twist that rubbery arm so we’re back an hour later for more. We can’t decide what to have so the manager Ryan’s advice is to let the two Neapolitan pizzaiolos (trained artisan pizza makers) ‘go freestyle’ and create something unique for us. Alfredo stays fairly traditional with tomato sauce, fior di latte, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives and anchovies.
The other guy (whose name I missed, unfortunately) lets his imagination go wild and we watch in amazement as he forms two mini calzone (Ryan calls them ‘mezzaluna’, or half moon) on opposite sides, one filled with feta, the other with assorted meats. Down the middle he puts tomato sauce, fior di latte and rocket which, with a slosh of olive oil on top, wilts in the oven. Once cooked he drapes three generous slices of prosciutto on top and some shavings of parmesan. And another drizzle of olive oil for good measure!
Following much banter and taking of photographs with our new best friends, we race home as fast as our legs will carry us to engage in an absolute orgy of overeating. The pizzas are both to die for, the first one a perfect example of great quality, proper, simple pizza, the other an extraordinary piece of sheer theatre. Mr T cuts it into thick slices as if it were a loaf of Turkish bread. We could really do with a knife and fork but it’s so much more fun to slurp the wet, oozing, salty goodness into our mouths direct from the plate!
Nom don’t deliver as they don’t want the pizza sitting around deteriorating in cardboards boxes any longer than necessary, so you’ll have to collect it yourself. But they’re such a charming bunch of blokes that you’ll enjoy the interaction – and seeing the amazing wood-fired oven that dominates the shop. They do have a few tables and chairs outside on the pavement (make that old giant cable spools and hessian-covered milk crates) but no alcohol license, not even BYO, as yet. Here’s hoping! In the mean time they do have 1.25L bottles of brightly coloured, old-fashioned Saxby’s fizzy drinks in flavours like creaming soda and toffee apple. I’m not going to say any more except go there, and don’t spare the horses!
Shop 2, 205 Victoria Road, Marrickville
Visited 18 October 2012