Launching just in time for the summer season is Happy as Larry, a pop-up pizzeria that is a food truck converted from a shipping container. I met the team from Happy as Larry at a relaxed and casual launch in the grounds of Centennial Park on a spectacular winter’s day.
The former shipping container has been given a complete and total groovy and stylish make-over. Situated down one end is an enormous wood-fired pizza oven that has been imported from Naples. The wood for the oven is stacked neatly beneath the round structure. The oven cooks the pizzas at a temperature of 400 degrees so once in the wood-fired oven, the pizzas only take about a minute to cook. This method seals in the flavours of the ingredients and gives the dough a soft crust.
In keeping with the relaxed theme, picnic tables with seats converted from milk crates were sprinkled across the lawn that led from the food truck to the lake.
We started with a shake and there are four to choose from. I chose Lychee and Mint and this had a strong lychee flavour and the mint made the drink very refreshing. My good pal, Tania, from My Kitchen Stories was also at the launch and she had the Nutella Shake. This was a very popular option because who doesn’t like Nutella! Other options for the shakes are Watermelon and Strawberry which sounds perfect for summer and Traditional homemade lemonade that I can see being a good choice on a hot day.
The flour for the pizza dough is imported from Napoli in Italy, which is apparently the best flour in the world. Then water, salt and small amounts of yeast are added and then the dough is left to rise for a minimum of 24 hours. This process makes the dough incredibly light and easy to digest. Tania and I both agreed the pizza bases are outstanding.
There are eight pizzas on the menu and all are white-based. The first pizza we tried was the Focaccia with Lardo di colonnata and rosemary. While I loved the sprinkle of sea salt over the base and really enjoyed the fragrant rosemary, I have to say I’m not a fan of lardo which is fat. It was wafer thin and used sparingly but it’s just not a taste I enjoy.
I was a lot more enamoured with the Herb bread pizza with heirloom tomatoes. The pizza was very generously topped with a great variety of marinated tomatoes. There was good flavour from both the tomatoes that were very sweet and the extremely fragrant basil. Eating this pizza with your hands is difficult unless you fold it so you can hold on to the tomatoes.
Our favourite pizza of the day was the Wagyu with Pino’s Wagyu beef bresaola, porcini mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella, truffle pecorino and truffle oil. The wagyu bresaola was tender and not too salty, the porcini mushrooms were soft with their distinct flavour and as this was brought to the table you could definitely smell the aroma of truffles. The bresaola comes from Pinos Dolce Vita that has been making the finest quality artisanal meats for over three generations.
The next pizza we tried was the Mixed Mushroom with button, Swiss, oyster and king oyster mushrooms, smoked scarmozza, parsley, cracked pepper and truffle oil. I did enjoy this vegetarian pizza that was flavoured with such a good variety of mushrooms. The scarmozza, which is a type of smoked mozzarella, together with the truffle oil gave this pizza a wonderful aroma.
The Smoked Trout pizza with Snowy River trout, gorgonzola, pink peppercorns, capers, red onion and rocket was the last pizza brought to our table. It was a beautifully presented pizza with so many pretty colours, especially the sprinkle of pink peppercorns.
And then they brought dessert. I really thought I’d had enough to eat but who could resist this Nutella calzone with strawberries and ice cream. You do get utensils to assist you with this one! This was a very rich and decadent dessert where the calzone was soft and warm and the Nutella had become wonderfully fudge-like. Pairing it with ice cream and fresh strawberries was just perfect.
Happy as Larry is a new offering to Sydney’s food truck scene that serves traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, desserts and shakes using quality, locally sourced ingredients. Emerging from an imported pizza oven that’s inside an ex-shipping container that is now a mobile truck, is a good variety of quality pizzas where you are sure to find something you’ll really enjoy. I would recommend the bruschetta and the Wagyu bresaola and definitely, don’t leave without dessert.
Verdict: The pizza bases would have to be the best I’ve ever enjoyed.
Happy as Larry: You can follow them on Facebook.
And thank you Tania for your wonderful company.
Hotly Spiced dined at Happy as Larry as guests.