So Dylan and I had recently visited Pizza Meccanica while we were in discussions about starting up this Pizza Quest and we enjoyed it so thoroughly we figured it HAD to be first cab off the rank for a formal review. We had told Nathaniel and Lidia about it and were really keen to see what they thought and to see how it stood up to scrutiny. Turns out we picked a winner for our first visit and it has made our mouths water for more to come!!
($5 extra for Buffalo mozzarella)
Nathaniel: There’s a nice springiness to the dough. It’s chewy. The bubbles are only small but they’re there.
Eloise: Burny bits are a win. The bubbles could be bigger.
Lidia: It has the right amount of crunchy and chewy. The burned bits are really good.
Dylan: Good amount of chewiness. The charcoal to pizza ratio is very good.
Lidia: The sauce was sweet, fresh, good salt level. I got some actual pieces of tomato which I really enjoyed. It was chunky and good.
Me: I liked the freshness. You could taste the real tomato.
Dylan: It was fresh and tasty.
Nat: I think the sauce wasn’t my favourite part about it but it had this nice simple, smooth saltiness to it with little burnt bits around the outside which adds to the sort of bitterness (which we’re looking for).
Balance &Composition 7.8/10
Nat: All round delicious – smooth, yummy, I really want to have a little bit more basil but you know, hey, take nothing away from it; that was a fricken incredible Margherita.
Lidia: yeah I agree, I think it definitely needed more basil but I think the sauce to cheese ratio was pretty good and yeah the saltiness of it all was really good.
Dylan: Yeah, also happy with the ratios. Big fan of the fior di latte – it kinda complimented the tomato base. Little bit of extra basil is always good but happy with the amount as well.
Me: I was really happy with the b&C because when I picked up a slice of pizza it held up even as I picked it up so it didn’t flop in the middle but it was only JUST not flopping. It was still thin enough in the centre as it should be but the crust had enough structure to it to hold it up. I agree with the comments re more basil. I agree with the mozzarella to sauce ration being on point. The fior di latte was milky which complimented the tomato really nicely.
Nat: I like the elasticity – you can hold it up and it was just beautiful. That actual base itself was consistent across the whole thing from the centre to the outside.
Me: Agreed 100%. I also really enjoyed the addition of chilli oil – it gave the whole thing a gentle warmth. It wasn’t overly spicy but has a really lovely flavour. The whole thing ate really nicely, it held really nicely, I’m really happy with it.
Nat: LOVED the flavour of the burnt bits on the outside – you know, when you hold it you get a bite with the burnedness, it makes the sauce a little sweeter. I didn’t find the natural sweetness but I love that. Then you’ve got the saltiness of the sauce adding to the fior di latte which is really sweet & smooth. The base is the perfect texture to carry the flavour. Almost a bit of crunch underneath adds to that… it was delicious.
Lidia: I think the flavour was overall really, really good. I loved the sauce and the chunkiness of the tomato that I got in there and the smoothness of the cheese which was really good… but it needed more basil!
Dylan: More basil! More basil! Yeah, nah, overall flavour great. The compliment between the tomato and the cheese was ridiculously good. Nice ratio with the charcoal on the base as well.
Me: I thought the salt was on point, it was perfectly seasoned. It was salty enough to be satisfying and leave you hanging for the next bite but creamy and sweet and smooth enough to not be salty. I loved the burnt charcoal edges and the addition of the chilli oil for me made it almost perfect.
Vibe, venue, value 9/10
Pizza Meccanica is freaking cool you guys. It’s set up like a mechanic’s garage, from the toolbox fridges to the tyre-encased plants hanging on the walls. There’s even a freaking restored Chevy ute in the corner of the room. It has cool oozing from all corners. Seriously, how many pizza places do you go to where there is a TMNT mural out the front, next to a Master Splinter mural?! It is honestly awesome. Pair that with the attentive and helpful staff and you have yourself a winner. It is really hard to fault this place on its awesomeness.
That being said, $20 for a Margherita isn’t the cheapest you’ll find. However, they could still charge anywhere up to $25 for it (and some places do) and you wouldn’t be mad. I mean, we didn’t opt for the extra $5 for Buffalo mozzarella as we weren’t sure we wanted to (and to be fair, the milkiness of the fior di latte was actually perfect anyway so it didn’t need it).
Lidia: the vibe and atmosphere are awesome. The design is not just standard, it’s a bit outside the box. There’s a UTE. It’s got the wow factor. Staff and service were excellent. The little touches like the oil can as pizza stands are cool – it keeps with the theme.
Nat: It’s chill. Not uptight. The ambience is good. Everything fits the theme.
Dylan: The fridges are designed like toolboxes. That’s awesome. There’s also such a variety of people this place attracts – there’s a good mix of customers! It really is pretty cheap pizza for the venue – other places will sting you 23 bucks for that!
Alright. So. We ended up accidentally eating seven pizzas. Seven. 7. We ordered a Margherita to share straight up, then we each selected another from the menu. We got a salami pizza, a salsiccie & friarelli, a Montanara and then Lidia ordered a funghi but they’d sold out of mushrooms so we ended up getting another Montanara (because it was THAT good) and we also got a Marinara (aka the Meccanica). Once we’d finished we ordered a dessert pizza. They made a special order for us which was amazing.
The Meccanica was beautiful – I never intentionally go for pizzas without cheese so had it not been for Nathaniel ordering this one I wouldn’t have ever ordered it myself. Now, when I say this is a marinara I mean a proper, traditional marinara. That is a pizza that is dough and sauce. No cheese. No seafood for goodness’ sake. It is named for the sailors who used to make it because it was cheap and they were poor. This one had gorgeous slices of garlic and flecks of oregano, which gave it an incredible depth of flavour. Honestly, it was incredible. Nathaniel was on cloud nine eating it.
The Montanara was, in Nathaniel’s words, “bleeping excellent. They need to add this to the menu!!!!” We all agreed, hence ordering a second one. It was essentially a Margherita, but the dough had been fried before it was topped with the sauce, mozzarella and parmigiano, and then baked and finished with basil. Holy balls was it a revelation. We have had pizze fritte (fried pizzas) before, many times. It’s one of our dad’s family traditions, but we only have the dough fried and then top it with cooked sauce and fresh cheese. This one, however, baked after? It was spectacular. The Montanara is another traditional Neapolitan favourite. It’s like a savoury doughnut pizza and honestly if that doesn’t make you drool just at the thought of it, I think you might be sick and should see a doctor.
Our salami and salsiccie & friarelli were bang on perfect, as was our special order dessert pizza (topped with a scoop of vanilla gelato). Honestly, they were excellent, excellent pizzas. We couldn’t think of ANYTHING we would do to improve them.
Overall, Pizza Meccanica rated 85%. It deserves every point of that and more. Solid A. Well earned, well deserved. We will definitely be back.
You can find Pizza Meccanica at 2 Hawker Street, Bowden