Last Saturday, I was invited to the soft opening of Boroughs of New York Pizza (yes, three events in one day, it was very hardcore). They already have one store in Carindale, and have two more in the works after the fortitude valley one. We arrived early, heading there straight after afternoon tea. It is situated along Ann Street, just past Ltd Espresso, and the sign is so big you definitely cannot miss it.
We took a look around the outside before our entrance and got to appreciate the pizza dough resting before its inevitable demise that evening.
We were greeted upon stepping inside by the sight of the three time award winning pizza chef, busily prepping for the dinner. The owner, Jay, told me that he came from Sri Lanka but spent most of his time in New York, before coming here and convincing his brother in law Johannes to set up a New York Style pizza store in Brisbane, as there was a shortage of good New York Style Pizzas.
For my readers' reference, the Pizzas that I've previously been eating at Sugo Mi, Alfredos and Vapianos, lean towards the Neapolitan Style pizza, which is characterised by its soft, elastic, tender and fragrant pizza base, and usually topped with fresh tomato sauce and mozarella cheese (and other variants). The crust is usually slightly burnt on the side, which gives it a nice toasty smell.
In contrast, New York Style pizzas are characterised by large hand tossed thin crispy crusts, and are very large (usually 18"), so they are often eaten by the slice (as opposed to the whole pizza at once). Needless to say, I was very keen to try it out.
The restaurant itself had a New York Subway kind of theme, which I really liked.
We started the evening on quite a few variations of bread, which our hosts said was to showcase the flexibility of their pizza base. There were two types of Focaccia, being plain and olive. It was springy and delicious. The texture was airy, but substantial, although we would have enjoyed it more if it were heated a bit more before serving.
Other pizza base related foods included the garlic knots and the pizza shards. The garlic knots were also quite heavy and doughy, but were glazed with oil and diced garlic, which added quite a zing to the knots. The pizza shards though, I found to be quite addictive, especially because of the added pizza sauce on the side, which was fresh and tangy.
Entrees came out soon after this, and we got to try the summer inspired pizza shards, which came out with fresh leaf salad, and was topped with cheese, thinly shaved ham, tomato and olives. The flavours in this were really strong and hit me right away. Having been pigging out on the pizza shards with pizza sauce, I would have enjoyed it if it had come with a bit of sauce as well. It was a solid starter for the evening.
The next two pizzas that we got to try were quite bold creations of the chef, this one was the tuna carpaccio , served with cheese and rocket. The tuna was well seasoned, though I would have liked it to be slightly vinegared to add a bit of depth. It was served in a ball, and we all spread it out rather than eating it as is. The creaminess of the cheese complimented the tuna really well, although my usual preference is to have hot melty cheese on my pizza though.
The last thing we tried that evening was even bolder than the tuna pizza. This was the soft shell crab pizza, served with orange rind, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. The orange rind was well marinated, surprisingly soft, but came with a lot of zing. The chocolate was fragrant, and not very sweet, which actually complimented the dish very well. As an avid fan of soft shell crab, I loved the crunch that it packed, but wasn't convinced that a pizza base would have been the best method to present it on.
Due to prior commitments, that was the last dish we tried. Whilst we tried many interesting and bold new creations, we had yet to try the actual pizzas they have on their regular menu. As such, we will be withholding our ratings until we go again after the official opening. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our night, and would like to thank Jay for inviting us.
Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Boroughs of New York Pizza, as always, our opinions are solely our own.