Scoozi Pizza, Ascot Vale

Eat, Melbourne / 6 December 2016

Mama mia, Melbournites, you must try Scoozi

If you’re a pizza lover like me, the phrase ‘best pizza in Melbourne’ grabs your attention.  Bestowed this title by The Herald Sun in 2014, Scoozi in Ascot Vale immediately earned a spot in my ‘must try’ pizza places.
This family run Italian restaurant, headed by pizzaiolo Phillip Bruno, proudly serves traditional Neapolitan cuisine. With the best pizza award under its belt, it is certified by the Association Verace Pizza Nepoletena (AVPN) and is also the first restaurant in Australia to be endorsed by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN).  APN philosophy is to promote Neapolitina pizza using local produce and to focus on the art of kneading pizza.  – After all, it’s all about that base. Not surprisingly,  I had high expectations.
Scoozi Pizzaiolo Michele
Located in a quiet Ascot Vale strip,  Scoozi is cosy, with dark walls, pops of red and intimate lighting. As you enter, you are almost overwhelmed by the huge jar of Nutella by the front window and the enticing aromas of fresh pizza wafting out of the oven.
Seated outside for a relaxing lunch, we were first spoilt with a Saltimbocca, which translates to ‘jump in the mouth’. I can say this dish did just that. Crusty focaccia style bread filled with prosciutto, rocket and fior di latte, made every bite heaven’s treat.
To follow were chilli cheese fries, the topping reminiscent of a cheesy Bolognese sauce. Every gooey cheese bite was filled with mince, flavorsome tomato and with just the right amount of chilli.
Our bellies were already bulging as we moved to the much anticipated pizza. With a plethora of options, I admit struggling to make a choice. I finally settled on a delicious Salicce (sausage) pizza, comprising San Marzano tomato, D.O.P scamorza Bianca, Sicilian pork, fennel sausage, pancetta, parsley and cracked pepper.
Pizzas at Scoozi are 12 inches, round, 100% handmade Neapolitan pizza, leavened in excess of 30 hours before being baked in a wood-fired brick oven. The pizzas are served in their traditional form – unsliced, with the recommendation that diners cut the pizza into four slices. But then, when all is said and done, at the end of the day it’s all going into your belly however you cut it.
My first bite demonstrated to me why Scoozi are award winners. The crust was cooked perfectly; crisp and beautifully blistered from the wood fire oven. The base was covered with the perfect balance of cheese and generously topped with fresh ingredients. The Sicilian pork and fennel sausage was intense in flavour and really made this a standout.
My fellow diners also enjoyed their pizzas, some of which were customised to their liking.
Keeping it simple does not mean less flavor, as you will discover with the traditional Napoletana pizza that truly highlights the quality of this pizzeria.
As we devoured our delicious pizzas, pizzaiolo Michele demonstrated his incredible dexterity and treated us to an impressive pizza tossing show.
Scoozi also offers other tranditional Italian cuisine, including an array of pasta dishes, parmigianas, arancini and desserts, such as the Nutella pizza.
The drinks menu is generous, with a variety of Italian beers, spirits and wines. Scoozi even have their own range of wines produced in New South Wales.
A diamante amongst the offering of small local pizzeria joints, this is one that’s well worth checking out.
Scoozi most definitely has a slice of my pizza-loving heart.
136 Union Road, Ascot Vale
(03) 9370 0100
Tuesday-Saturday 5-10 pm
Sunday 12-4pm, 5-10 pm