245 Australia St
Newtown, NSW 2042
I first came across Westwood Pizza via my favourite way for discovering new restaurants; that’s to say, completely accidentally. We were on our way out from a delicious dinner at Continental Deli when I spotted the tiny little shop across the road with a pizza oven tucked into the back. It certainly didn’t look like much, but one peek inside at the succinct menu scrawled onto the chalkboard changed my mind – honey, smoked eel, black garlic – the pizza toppings (not all on the same pizza of course!) read like the shopping list for a fancy deli, and redoubled my resolve to visit.
As it turns out, Westwood didn’t exactly appear out of nowhere. Helmed by two ex-Bella Brutta chefs, these guys know a thing or two about creating pizzas on their own terms, thus explaining the quirky ingredients they keep on hand. It also explained why I saw no fewer than half a dozen different people raving about Westwood on my social media feed over the next couple weeks. But unlike Bella Brutta – a big operation that can churn out tapas and pizzas all night – the small scale of Westwood means that they are capped at 150 pizzas a day, no matter how hard they work. So get there early (preferably right on opening), as the wait can get rather long, and they may be completely sold out by 7:30pm on a busy night.
The golden child at Westwood is an unusual Garlic and Honey ($20) number, and as much polarising as a sweet-and-savoury combo on pizza may be, this leaves your usual cheese pie for dead. The combination of floral honey and good cheese (in this case, a creamy fior di latte and shavings of salty pecorino) is a tried and true pairing on cheeseboards everywhere, but it’s the fermented garlic that really links the two together with its rich, pungent aroma.
Under the molten lake of hot, oozy cheese, the crust is so thin it seems almost like an afterthought. But that’s definitely not so. Made over a whopping 72 hours, this sourdough base is among the lightest I’ve ever had, allowing the toppings to shine whilst still having enough structure to keep things together (well, barely – this one is best eaten folded up New York style).
There’s nothing like a good salami pizza, but the Salamanca ($26) takes it once step further yet again with its spicy, tangy Spanish salami, sliced thin and piled high so you get those oven-crisp edges with each bite, its flavour augmented with a generous splash of herb-infused oil. This is probably the best salami pizza I’ve ever had.
Although it operates out of a teeny tiny kitchen the size of my bathroom, and can seat a grand total of 7 people in pre-social-distancing days, Westwood is the real deal when it comes to pizza. And despite being a bit out of the way, it benefits hugely from the steady stream of commuters coming from Newtown station, several of whom couldn’t help but comment on how good our pizzas looked/smelt as they walked past our kerbside perch. And if your food is turning heads, you know you’re onto something great here.
Rating: 14/20 – pizza perch.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.