Writing critical reviews either depresses me or makes me angry, both emotions I don’t particularly care for. I guess I should appreciate the contrast they provide though, as it means that I can get genuinely excited when I get to review a gem like Massimo’s Pizza Club. My favourite pizza spot is Col’cacchio, I like their thin base and fresh toppings. Massimo takes pizza to a new level, in no small way due to his very rare ingredient which he uses liberaly, passion.
Massimo is originally from Italy and his wife, Tracy, is from the UK. He fell in love with SA, so they immigrated here and set up this venture to share the beauty and art of real pizza with us.
Our belief is that pizza has a bad name in this country, as it has mostly developed a reputation as cheap, fast-food. In Italy pizza is not an everyday food taken from the frozen food aisle. Eating pizza is a fulfilling experience & a treat, rather than a junk food staple.
The restaurant is very basic, with simple wooden tables and chairs. They are not able to change it at all because they rent the space from Scarecrows (a coffee shop type place during the day), but despite that the place retains some warmth and ambiance (it might have something to do with the large pizza oven in the corner!). The wine list is also simple and reasonable, a little something to accompany the pizza, nothing more.
The pizza is the focus of the experience, to consume it without paying some attention to it would be a waste. The finest flour is used to make the very thin bases which are the sprinkled with only two or three toppings. The idea is that you are able to taste each individual ingredient not just have a gallimaufry of toppings hiding behind each other in your mouth. This focus on the toppings obviously requires that Massimo use only the best, and freshest ingredients to guarantee maximum flavour. Each pizza is only in the oven for less than two minutes, just enough time for the searing heat to crisp the base and activate the toppings.
You can just order yourself a pizza from the menu (R44 – R79) or you can opt for the ‘Italian Experience’ (R88) which is salad and unlimited pizza. Massimo will keep bringing you different pizzas to try (this obviously only works for groups). Eight people would be a perfect number as there are 8 slices per pizza so you can just keep tasting until you are full (or 4 people could have 2 slices each). This is what we did, enjoying 8 different pizzas over the course of about an hour. I was very full by the end of it but thoroughly enjoyed trying all the different options. Some of the pizzas we were served:
•Bianca (garlic, mozzarella, smoked cheese, rosemary)
•Pere (tomato, gorgonzola cheese, sliced pears)
•4 Formaggi (tomato, mozzarella, blue cheese, feta, goat’s cheese, olives)
•Napoli (tomato, anchovies, mozzarella, capers, olives)
•Finocchio (garlic butter, fennel, parmesan, mozzarella)
There were several more but I won’t spoil the surprise, I’ll just tell you they get more tasty and interesting. We ended off with some Tiramisu (R30) and some of his homemade Limoncello (deadly).
Massimo’s is a little out of the way, but it is worth the trip. Make a plan to get out there and experience for yourself what pizza should be.
Massimo’s pizza club
Scarecrows, Oakhurst Farm Park
Main Road, Hout Bay
021 790 5648