Pizza worship

Pizza Religion

493 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East

Pizza religion

The other day I caught up with a friend from uni C for dinner after work. C works in Box Hill so we normally dinner out there or near my place. This time we decided to go to pizza religion, a pizza place near my house that Gerard and I have eaten at a couple of times. I’m not sure how long it’s been open for but it’s certainly picked up a big following in however long it’s been there. In a non-descript group of about 3 shops on an otherwise residential road this restaurant always seems to be completely full.  Recently Gerard and I ordered take away from there and opted to pick it up when we found out that there was over an hour and a half wait on delivery, when we went to pick up we could see why. 12 people working in the not-so-big kitchen churning out pizzas at lighting speed.

The restaurant is a very cool, modern space with industrial-ish decor and a great courtyard out the back (especially when Melbourne’s having an uncharacteristic warm streak). That said, it’s small, probably seating about 20 inside, less outside. If you want to eat in it’s definitely worth booking. The service is also really friendly and efficient given how busy the place seems to be all the time.

We started off our meal with an order of the arancini of the day (3 for $8). We probably didn’t need these, pizza is a lot of food in general, but I just can’t go past somewhere that offers an arancini of the day. To be honest I was so excited that I didn’t actually ask what ‘the day’ aspect was, but I think it was sweet potato. The arancini are also served in a little bath of aoili.  They were pretty good.

Arancini of the day

We also ordered two pizzas, they’re not particularly heavy so that’s not as outrageous as it sounds. The first to come out was the pork (pork sausage, chilli, fennel, apple and cabbage salad – $18). This is a great pizza. It’s certainly not a super traditional Italian style meal a la D.O.C., but it is certainly delicious. I would never have thought to put apple on a pizza but I think it may now be my favourite pizza.

Pork pizza

Next came a lamb (roast lamb, olive tapenade, fetta, oregano and tomato – $18). The waiter/chef apologised a couple times for the lamb being delayed because it was burnt the first time. Luckily we had no room for it on the table anyway and it was delicious when it arrived. In fact it smelt so delicious that C grabbed a piece faster than I could grab the camera.

Roast lamb pizza

For some reason after the pizzas we had a moment of temporary insanity and decided to order dessert too. I blame C. Entirely. We ordered one of the special desserts, the pear and frangipani dessert pizza with a scoop of jock’s roast almond ice cream. The dessert pizza was (as everything else) really tasty. Completely unnecessary, but tasty. I’d definitely recommend it.

Dessert pizza

Calling it as it is
Pizza Religion is a great find, one of my favourite recent new finds. Modern, exciting pizza done well. Also a small, but great, restaurant for eating in.

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