Via Napoli Surry Hills

Rebecca Varidel
11th Jul 2016

Via Napoli has been trading off "Voted Best Pizza in Sydney 2013 by Timeout Magazine" for the last few years, and in that time since winning the award in the year it opened, has expanded the operation from Lane Cove to add Hunters Hill and Crown Street.

Surry Hills, the latest of the three Italian restaurants to open is buzzing and crowded and our mob thinks a suitable place to have a group gathering. One of the group is excited by the 1 metre ($60) and 2 metre ($140) long pizzas but the group order the $50 per person menu, although it is problematic as there is one gluten free and one vegetarian in the group.

What did we get for the $50 per person?

$50 is the cheapest of the set menus and more than enough food to feed a starving army. Basically we were brought two rounds of laden boards to share. The first, Antipasti includes Arincini; Prosciutto Parma and Buffalo mozzarella; pale Calamari and "Battered Vegetables" of zucchini and capsicum (though I think they mean grilled or roasted - there was no batter); the pictured Bruschetta pomedoro; the best of the day, the next two dishes Zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh buffalo ricotta and pepper, and large Mussels in San Marino tomatoes garlic chilli and white wine; and Crumbed fried mozzarella, which was again only not quite golden and didn't achieve the lovely melting centre that is the aim of the frying.

Then came the Pizzas To Share advertised as "enough for everybody" and again that is true of the quantity. Each has 3 toppings and the size of our group, and the dietary requirements enabled 2 boards equalling 6 choices of topping. There was nothing particularly wrong with the pizzas prepared and cooked in true Napoli style. And we most certainly we offered enough to eat.

Somewhere amongst us the sweet tooths decided that an extra, the Nutella Pizza should finish our Sunday lunch. As described on the menu, the chewy dough is "smothered" in Nutella, and while we each put a piece before us, one bite was enough for me and most others.

It's a good feed for those who want quantity. Previously at Hunters Hill and Lane Cove I've ordered a la carte and while the pizza hasn't really shaken my bootie, the Italian entrées and mains at those locations have been enjoyable enough.

I'd been persuaded to mosey along for this lunch to change my opinion.

And did it?

Between indifferent though speedy service that made me feel like I was eating in a fast food chain (which I don't), and my worst nightmare of being served from broken plates (plural), if anything I'd say make the trek and stick with the original at Lane Cove if you are after a long board Via Napoli hit.

And when I look at all the options that $50 can buy for food served in a restaurant, bar or café there are plenty of ways to spend wisely if looking for quality or creativity rather than just a big feed. Then again, this day was after all about being with friends, not just about the food.

Via Napoli is located at:

628 Crown Street, Surry Hills +61 2 9310 1300
64 - 68 Gladesville Road, Hunters Hill +61 2 9816 3600
141 Longeuville Road, Lane Cove +61 2 9428 3724