Disclaimer: Crust sent me an Ultimate Night In voucher so I could check out their pizzas for myself.
When Crust’s PR people got in touch and asked me if I’d like to try a pizza from one of their three new South Australian pizza bars, I didn’t really have to be asked twice. While I make a lot of pizza from scratch (we’re blessed with a brilliant oven) we actually also order in on a semi regular basis. It really doesn’t feel good to see that written down!
Crust markets itself as gourmet pizza and the first thing I noticed when checking out the menu was the huge variety of pizzas on offer. There are six vegetarian pizzas, there are “healthier choice” pizzas, there are four each of chicken and seafood pizzas and then there are the five Upper Crust pizzas (wagyu and prawn pizza anyone?). So it was quite a good thing I’d downloaded the menu in advance and changed my mind umpteen times before going through the options with Andy.
While I was tempted by the Moroccan Lamb and Sausage Duo options we ended up going for Pepperoni, which makes us sound really boring but it was the closest to what we’d normally order (Mexican), which we thought made for a fairer taste test. Crust’s Pepperoni pizza is not just pepperoni and cheese – it’s pepperoni, Spanish onions, green capsicum, ground beef, olive tapenade and garlic with chilli optional (yes please! in our case), all on a tomato base.
Our voucher also included a salad – not something I’d normally even consider ordering from a pizza bar. I’ve got absolutely no benchmarks here (do other pizza bars even offer salads?) but we chose the Greek salad.
Decision making over and done with, we placed the order and were told it would be ready for collection in 20 minutes (Crust does deliver, but we live outside the delivery zone). The Brighton restaurant gets a massive thumbs up for our food being ready when they said it would be. I arrived, picked up the food and left in one swift manoeuvre.
At home, I was most interested in checking out the salad. It was really good! It came in a cardboard box (which was a plus – salads in plastic boxes are all horrible and sweaty) and the salad dressing came in a sachet for us to add to taste. As someone who (generally) loathes salad dressing, this made me happy. The olives in the salad were good quality but best of all was the feta cheese which was really creamy.
On to the pizza – the first thing I noticed was that the crust was considerably better than on most pizzas (including our regular). It was thin and crispy and not at all soggy or heavy. The pizza wasn’t laden with topping, which I liked – I suspect this helps with the crust and also meant that everything was well cooked and the cheese was starting to bubble and caramelise. I was also impressed that the tomato base was evenly spread out and was not sweet. There was also some good heat to the pizza – it wasn’t overwhelming and there was a bit of debate whether it came from the extra chilli or from the pepperoni itself.
Overall, it was the crust that made the pizza for me. That was absolutely a cut above your standard pizza bar pizza.
The downside to all of this pizza goodness is that the pizzas aren’t cheap – the large pizzas are $21 (seafood $22 and the Upper Crust 15″ rectangular pizzas are $24). The large pizza and salad was definitely enough for the two of us for dinner – this would have set us back $30 which is not bad for two people but if you were particularly hungry (or wanted leftovers) you could easily be spending a lot more. But with all things, you do get what you pay for. So if you fancy a decent pizza, you should give Crust a try.
Crust currently has branches in Brighton, Norwood and Unley. You can check out a review of the Norwood Crust over at d bites. There are better photos too … I’m always too hungry for good photography!