• Pizza Religion

I am not a perfectionist. In fact, anything close makes me feel uneasy. I had read good reviews about Pizza Religion. Always up for a new local pizza joint, I was eager to try it.

I booked for an early Friday evening and arrived finding the restaurant empty. It soon filled up with parents and their school-uniform-clad kids. We sat in the courtyard that had opened just the day before – perfect timing for Melbourne’s weather. It smelt like fresh wood, looked new and was filled with lounge music.

We ordered the pumpkin pizza (pumpkin, sage, gorgonzola and pine nuts) and the mushroom pizza (caramelised onions, taleggio and of course mushrooms). Both came out quickly. They were served on bread boards with each ingredient carefully placed. The sweetness of the pumpkin worked well against the saltiness of the gorgonzola. The pine nuts were a bonus. The sage was crisped and blended well. The caramelised onions really brought out the mushroom pizza. The bases were a little too thin and crispy.

Whilst the food was good, it lacked authenticity and excitement. Pizza Religion is nearing perfection, and to me this signified commercialism. The pizza was a bit too arranged, the space a bit too clean and the service a bit too attentive and obliging. In the debate over science and art, Pizza Religion seemed to be established from the former. It felt like everything was calculated and executed to detail. The food was well thought out and blended, but it seemed to lack one vital ingredient – love.

Of course I am being overly critical. If you are a perfectionist and want a reliable meal, I am sure Pizza Religion would be able to come up with the same quality every time. I, in the meantime, will be relaxing somewhere with a bit more dirt and spontaneity.

Pizza Religion

493 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East 3123
03 9882 2555

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