EUGENE had me the minute I walked in the door.
The aroma of freshly baked pizza was so overwhelming, I felt like Pavarotti on crystal meth.
Situated on the corner of George and Duke Streets in East Fremantle, Eugene’s Pizzeria is a little minimalist delight.
Pristine subway tiles and stainless steel ovens mingle with cans of olive oil and Italian tomatoes in a modern and uncluttered pizzeria.
I know it’s a given, but it was spotlessly clean and everything was on show including the fat blobs of dough about to be stretched into pizza bases.
The menu was divided into ‘red’ and ‘white’ pizzas including prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, marinara and capricciosa.
It was fairly classical and thankfully no fusion monstrosities like cheeseburger pizza, but there was the odd curveball like a spud pizza with thinly sliced potato, mozzarella, gorgonzola and speck (a salted smoked pork aged for two years) and Nduya – spicy Calabrian Nduja, buffalo mozzarella and fresh rucola.
They also do gluten-free and plant-based pizzas, panini and a small range of gelato.
There were a few tables inside and a pavement alfresco, but my young daughter and I ordered some pizzas to take home for the ravenous clan.
It took about 20 minutes to make, so we went for a wander down George Street which abruptly ended at the pub/restaurant Little Fire two doors down. Before you call social services, I got my daughter a mocktail.
Over drinks, I explained to her that Eugene’s let their dough balls ferment for 72 hours before stretching them into bases for a superior light and tasty flavour that was easy to digest.
My PR spiel was met with a perfunctory nod while she slurped her pineapple berry fizz and transformed me into a fat ogre on Snapchat.
Thankfully, when we returned home, the pizzas lived up to the dough-ball hype.
The minute I bit into the Capricciosa ($26) I felt like I was back in Cattolica on A family holidays. The leg ham, olives and marinated artichokes combined in a delicious fanfare that got the tastebuds shouting “Mamma Mia!”.
All the ingredients were top notch with the mushrooms and kalamata olives adding a lovely refrain to the flavour.
The base lived up to the hype – light and crispy with those trademark charred edges.
I thought things couldn’t get any better but the Salsiccia ($25) upped the ante again.
Starring Eugene’s own pork and fennel sausage mix it had a lovely sweet flavour, enhanced by the caramelised red onion.
Rounding things off was some mozzarella, fresh basil and shaved parmesan. A gourmet delight.
As well as being super tasty, the pizzas were large and extremely filling.
We got three pizzas, including a ham and cheese ($23) for my two young kids, and we got nowhere near the finish line.
Before visiting Eugene’s my favourite pizzeria was Solo in South Perth, owned and run by Italians, but they now have a run for their money.
Eugene’s is owned by local Tony Cuccovia, who used to visit the site as child with his mum when it was a butcher’s shop.
Years later, after running several small businesses, he saw the shop was up for lease while walking his dog and opened the pizzeria in 2019.
If you’re after an authentic pizza made with love and amazing produce, this is the place to go.
133 George Street, East Fremantle
eugenespizzeria.com.au 6111 7682
by STEPHEN POLLOCK