Location: Victoria Park, Albany Highway
Disclaimer: Provided with free Heirloom Tomato Upper Crust pizza and Caramelised Fennel Salad
Over the weekend I found a welcome surprise in my inbox: an invitation to try 2 items from Crust’s new seasonal menu for free. Having loved the Peking Duck pizza, I was sold and gladly accepted the invite to be freely provided an Heirloom Tomato Upper Crust pizza and Caramelised Fennel Salad. Well, I had dinner sorted for Monday!
I walked in to the Victoria Park store after work and also ordered a large pizza with half and half. I decided to try the satay chicken and for the other half, Philly steak. I waited around 15 minutes while I watched them prepare the pizza’s fresh. When they were ready, I was handed my two pizza boxes with a small box of the salad and the attendant kindly opened the door as I walked out with my load. Unfortunately it’s a 20 minute drive home so I can’t blame Crust if the pizza’s got a bit cold. Nothing like eating things fresh but I didn’t have that luxury.
I like the nice thin bases of the pizza. Slightly crispy, firm but not too hard. The satay chicken was poor, lacking the stronger satay flavour I was expecting. It is more of a hint, but it doesn’t need to be slapping you in the face, just an increase in flavour intensity would be good. The chicken was just short of being tough but fine enough to enjoy. However, it was quite disappointing with a certain degree of chewiness and hardly any Asian flavour distinction. Not sure if the dough was overworked or the pizza got overcooked but something didn’t gel.
For the other half, I quite enjoyed the Philly steak with tender thinly cut slices of Wagyu beef, moistness, lots of cheese, with a sauce that had a strong flavour. Some rather limp looking wild rocket was scattered across the pizza which surprised me given the ingredients are supposed to be fresh. Crust’s mandate is to provide gourmet restaurant quality pizzas that aren’t oily. They certainly aren’t oily but so far they fell short of restaurant quality.
The heirloom pizza was a little chewy initially but I loved the burst of freshness provided by the cherry tomatoes. They were plump and juicy. Despite not containing any meat, this pizza packed a surprise in terms of taste and flavour. The heirloom pizza had a subtle, nearly unnoticeable, tomato sauce, though you couldn’t miss the oregano. With the bits of cheese and oregano verde, they provided something extra. Sometimes simple is the best. My only gripe was there wasn’t enough tomatoes for what was a tomato pizza.
In terms of the salad, it came with the odd piece of caramelised onion, thinly sliced apple, fennel, nuts, buffalo mozzarella, gourmet lettuce, and lots of prosciutto. It also had a sachet of dressing which I cut open and poured over the salad before giving it a mix. The salad was not bad but once again, lacked freshness. Compared to the salads accompanying the pizzas I’ve eaten at Brookfield Place, they fall short in terms of freshness and flavour. For $12.50, it’s certainly not worth the price tag.
Crust Food Review Summary
Verdict: If I hadn’t visited Crust before at Brookfield Place, after eating the pizza’s from the Vic Park store, I wouldn’t be back in a hurry. There was a major difference in quality. The pizzas at Brookfield are fresh and tasty, but those at Vic Park, albeit eaten 20 minutes later, were a little stale and a little disappointing. The limp rocket typified the experience. Maybe it’s the store. Still, I’m grateful for the invitation and I hope they keep the Heirloom Tomato Upper Crust pizza on the menu though it could do with more tomatoes. That had great flavour and the burst of moistness from the juicy tomatoes were a delight.
Recommendation: Worth Visiting Again (I’d be visiting Brookfield Place as the pizza’s are far better there)
See my prior blog post:
Food Review of Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar @ Brookfield Place – Jul 2012
Crust Restaurant Details
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