THEY say local knowledge is best.
So when family friends invited us to a new pizza joint in Mt Pleasant, we jumped in the bat mobile and headed there toute de suite.
Mastro is situated close to the fish and chip shop on Gibson Street, a lovely thoroughfare with leafy trees and old houses.
The pizzeria opened last year, during the first wave of covid, but it hasn’t stopped the owners building up a drooling customer base, and when we arrived there on Friday night it was heaving with people dining-in and getting takeaway.
No Italian twee here; the decor was contemporary and sleek with swish pendant lights, stylish tables and large bay windows letting in the evening breeze (more of a simoom on Friday).
The place had a lively buzz with staff, patrons and takeaway drivers doing a merry dance as the night unfolded.
Mastro has an extensive range of woodfired pizzas including all the old favourites, some nice seafood numbers, and a few sophisticated curve balls like Blackbuffalo with truffle pate.
You could have the base gluten free for an extra $4.
They also did a small range of antipasto, wood-fired pasta, salads and desserts.
We got four pizzas to share and “Big John” reckoned the King Prawn Catch ($25) was the pick of the bunch.
“It’s got a lovely thin base with just the right amount of toppings — prawns are succulent and tasty, cherry tomatoes give acidic flavour, and the subtle red onion and garlic round off this highly enjoyable pizza.”
Across the table, Helen was enjoying the Starvo Supreme ($23).
“This has a great combination of fresh, tasty toppings including sugo sauce, cacciatore salami, capsicum and olives,” she noted.
“The savoury flavours blend well, resulting in a highly enjoyable pizza served piping hot.”
In between slices, we refreshed our palates with a greek salad ($10).
Salads are often limp disappointments in pizzerias, but this was as triumph with a light house dressing and a tasty mix of fresh ingredients including olives, feta and tomatoes.
The diavola pizza ($22) had a nice spicy kick with the fresh chilli and salami creating a mini Vesuvius in my mouth.
The accompanying eggplant and roasted red peppers generated a complex mix of flavours, maintaining my interest for several slices.
At the other end of the table, my two young kids demolished a lovely looking margherita ($20) in record time. We had asked for no basil and the kitchen duly obliged.
I was really impressed by the quality toppings on Mastro’s pizza: no expense was spared with super fresh ingredients bursting with flavour.
These were top notch pizzas with thin, classic wood-fired bases.
Mastro is a lively, modern pizzeria with a great buzz and food to match.
30a Gibson Street
by STEPHEN POLLOCK