Happy As Larry

In 2011, the City of Sydney asked the people what they would like for their city.  The overwhelming response was that they’d like better food options after dark.  A two-year trial was put in place and gave birth to the Sydney Food Truck scene serving a terrific variety of cuisine from around the world.
Happy as Larry

Happy as Larry

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.

A picnic in a park

A picnic in a park

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.

Happy as Larry

Happy as Larry

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.

A gorgeous setting

A gorgeous setting

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.

Shakes

Shakes, about $7.00

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.

Working at the pizzas

The sign says, ‘All you need is love pizza’

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.

Lardo

Focaccia with Lardo di Colonnata and Rosemary

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.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta Pizza

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.

Wagyu

Wagyu Beef Bresaola

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.

Mushroom

Mixed Mushroom

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.

Smoked Trout Pizza

Smoked Trout Pizza

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.

Dessert

Dessert – Nutella Calzone

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.

Pizza

Neapolitan Pizza

Verdict:  The pizza bases would have to be the best I’ve ever enjoyed.

Lining up at the food truck

It’s a big pizza oven

Happy as Larry:  You can follow them on Facebook.

Picnic tables

A picnic in the park

And thank you Tania for your wonderful company.

Fresh roses on the tables

Fresh roses on the tables

Hotly Spiced dined at Happy as Larry as guests.

 

Related Post

Comments

  1. Yum Nutella calzone. I’m in:).

  2. It was such a lovely winters day and those Pizzas are outstanding.

  3. Looks like a really interesting food truck – wonder if others will follow this lead with the shipping containers – also wondered if they can churn out pizzas quickly – I guess it doesn’t take too long to bake a pizza if the dough is ready.

  4. This was so fun to read and I really enjoyed learning more about the food truck scene in Sydney. I have been amazed and intrigued at this trend and it’s certainly active here in Los Angeles as well. But I don’t recall ever seeing a container as the body of the truck. Very clever. I don’t think I could resist having some pizza from “Happy As Larry.” The name alone is just outstanding. 🙂

  5. What a fun name for a food truck! Everything sounds intriguing, though I must admit, trout pizza sounds very unusual to my American palate. I think I’d be all over that brushetta pizza and, of course, the calzone!

  6. EVERYTHING
    looks absolutely deeelish!
    And I love the name “HAPPY AS LARRY!”
    superb. xxx

  7. Food trucks have become quite popular in the Twin Cities in recent years. But even in my community of 23,000, we have a BBQ truck and a shaved ice truck.

    Wood-fired pizzas, made on farms where folks bring their own beverages and utensils and even seating have also become popular. I want to go to one of these sometime soon.

  8. What fun! Love the concept, love the name, and love the look of the pizzas! Great review, Charlie.

  9. Those all look so good! Such a great way to expand food options.

    You didn’t say if you meant 400º F or C — when I cook pizza at 425ºF it takes 15 minutes so I guess you mean C?

  10. Well, Happy as Larry would certainly make me happy (not sure if I’d be as happy as this Larry guy though). 😉 I love a good pizza and this dough looks out of this world good. The mushroom pizza and heirloom tomato pizza both look fantastic! And the watermelon shake sounds so refreshing. What a great find. I would love late night food truck options!!!

  11. What a cool launch this was! Here in Atlanta, I haven’t seen food trucks that laid out tables and chairs for their patrons – I think this is so cool! And those pizzas look fantastic!

  12. Sounds fun and delish.. I like the idea of having a food truck out of shipping container and the chairs.. awesome. The pizza looks so good .. reminds me of a famous Italian restaurant in Egypt.

  13. Seriously, what’s not to love about pizza? (Although, I’m with you on the lard issue.)
    I’m impressed with their ingenuity too – clever idea to use a shipping container.

  14. Yum, Looks great 🙂
    Liz x

  15. Hugely surprised the Council allows Centennial Park to be used for commercial purposes. I got my drivers’ licence lessons there and even that was frowned upon 🙂 !But what a lovely place to have one’s lunch: and the toppings executed mostly are rather different from those of usual pizzas . . . lovely if one can get there . . . mixed mushrooms: oh yea . . . smoked trout: ? one step too far . . . ??

  16. Oh, what fun Charlie – converted shipping containers are popping up everywhere over here – our local coffee stop is called The Box and is one – love the look of these pizzas!

  17. We wanted to include them as part of our pizza challenge but they weren’t operating that Saturday. One thing about the food trucks is it is hard to find them. The app isn’t great and it isn’t easy to know where trucks will be. We’ve been confused many a time. I wish they’d fix it as we love food trucks!

  18. I love creative enterprises like this. So colourful and fun. Sorry I haven’t commented for a while but I’ve had a lot of writing to do for my business, with new courses coming up. Nice to drop in again for some tasty food on your blog.

  19. What an awesome idea, those pizza’s looked so yummy. Hope the weekend is going well for you 🙂

  20. We have had some great meals from food trucks in Europe – Mr Bite still waxes lyrical about a burger from a truck in Salzburg and I have adoring memories of crepes from a van by Lake Bled. So, I think this is an excellent addition to the Sydney scene and the pizzas look very well done!

  21. What a fantastic food truck idea. 🙂 I’m so intrigued by the smoked trout pizza. I’d love that. 🙂

  22. That bresaola pizza looks particularly enticing. What a lovely food truck to have available in your area.

  23. Happy Larry have been doing so well in the months they’ve been trading. And I do have to say I’m a huge fan of lardo. That melting succulency of fat is bliss in my books!

  24. Ooo, would love this here too.
    Have a super day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  25. I’m so impressed! What lovely food that comes out of that little space! And the area where you eat is so pretty. Here in the US they would have so many rules and regulations and restrictions. so sad.

  26. Hi Charlie, looks like a wonderful food truck. We just went to a Thai food truck on Friday of last week and everything was delicious. It’s amazing what they prepare in such a tiny space.

  27. I love the way people are repurposing things! What a great food truck. I can’t believe it has a pizza oven in it. Those wood-fired pizza ovens do make the very best pizzas, especially the crust. All of those pizzas look scrumptious! What fun!!!

  28. Good on Larry!!
    I’m so pleased he’s happy, he is obviously dishing up the right stuff. I wish we had food trucks here, we really only have coffee vans 🙁 I always enjoy utilising the Sydney Food trucks. Loved them in Santa Monica too, lots of yummy taco’s!

  29. What a really cool idea! Seems people are using shipping containers for all kinds of things these days. The pizza looked fabulous and what a great variety! I think I would have had to probably say no to the lardo too… 🙂

Speak Your Mind

*