Saturday, April 4, 2009

Going gourmet

Indecision plagues me at the best of times. When I and a few others are dinner-less and faced with an extensive menu of gourmet pizzas, I'm seriously lost. It's almost a little like picking out a horse for the Melbourne Cup, once a year punter-style and all.

Do you go for the name: exotic, safe, different, intriguing? Do you go for the categories: gourmet meat, gourmet chicken, gourmet vegetarian, gourmet seafood, or tradtional? Or do you go for the entertainment value: the 'Manhattan' pizza topped with cos lettuce, the 'Jakarta' pizza with a honey teriyaki sauce, or the 'Baghdad' - enough said?

Probably a combination of all of the above, plus the all-important synergy of toppings. Which is sometimes my problem with 'gourmet' pizzas. Yes, it's unique and inventive but do I really want tiger prawns, curry coconut sauce and mango chutney on my pizza?

Thanks to Gourmet Pizza Kitchen, I have that option with their prawn, spinach, potato, capsicum, curry, chutney and coriander 'Madras' pizza. Somehow I manage to whittle down my choices to two gourmet pizzas and excitedly await and pick them up from the local restaurant, which happens to be busier with eat-in diners than takeaways orders.

Morrocco pizza from Gourmet Pizza Kitchen, Anzac Parade, Kingsford

The 'Morrocco' pizza won its place due to its name, conjuring up thoughts of spicy bazaars and folk music a world away. The pizza itself was a world away from many takeaway options, on first sight and taste. The uneven spread of toppings has us clamouring for slices not inundated with cubes of fetta cheese. The tub of herbed yoghurt, much like Indian raita, was distributed over all the slices as was the juice of the lemon wedge.

And the taste test? A little overwhelming and clashing, like what I imagine one's first step into Morrocco might be. The 'Morroccan-spiced' beef fillet slices are wonderfully soft and tender, the fetta cheese upping the dairy and salt content. Both the semi-dried tomatoes and char-grilled eggplant seemed to have minds and flavours of their own, so along with the herbed yoghurt, parsley and lemon, it was a massive, if not sometimes confused, flavour hit.

New Orleans pizza

The second choice was a gourmet chicken pizza claiming influence from 'New Orleans'. This comes with a tub of sour cream and a tub of sweet chilli sauce and immediately looks tamer than its Morroccan partner. Slices of chicken breast fillet are generously spread over the not-so-round pizza base, supposedly marinated in hot Cajun spices. There are also cubes of roasted potato, unhappy clumps of spinach and button mushrooms making for a relatively bland pizza, hence the tubs I suppose.

Both the bases are of mid-thickness holding their toppings strong with a crunchy outer crust. The end overall result? Teamed with a simple home made salad, GPK's gourmet offerings make for a takeaway meal with a difference, proudly a little healthier than others or so it feels, but no comparison to a thin Italian classic pizza, preferably served with rocket and buffalo mozzarella!

Gourmet Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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