27 RE­VIEW

Pizza at New­town’s Bella Brutta.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Cotents - 135 King St, New­town, bellabrutta.com.au

AN­THONY HUCK­STEP RE­VIEWS BELLA BRUTTA

I HAVE a friend who doesn’t think much of pizza. “What’s the fuss?” he says. “There’s not much dif­fer­ence be­tween a good pizza and a bad one.” I doubt he’s ac­tu­ally had a good pizza so I’ll di­rect him to Bella Brutta (beau­ti­ful ugly).

Here the blis­tered dough is thin, charred, smoky and lighter than your tra­di­tional Neapolitan piz­zas, and it’s beau­ti­fully sea­soned so barely needs top­ping. The to­mato sauce is rich in umami joy and never more so than when freight­ing rounds of chef Luke Pow­ell’s pep­per­oni and roasted fen­nel seeds and oil. The gar­lic, pars­ley, lemon juice and fer­mented chilli en­sem­ble for a pizza bianca, mean­while, stud­ded with diced Cloudy Bay surf clams is stun­ning. All the pies are given but a brief flash in the gi­ant red pizza oven that came di­rect from Mo­dena.

I’ve day­dreamed about these piz­zas since I had them and their ex­cel­lence is hardly sur­pris­ing – Bella Brutta comes from a crew with se­ri­ous cred. Pow­ell, backed by the posse be­hind Porteño and other Syd­ney gems (Elvis Abra­hanow­icz, Sarah Doyle and Joe Valore), gave the city the smart-ca­sual LP’S Qual­ity Meats. Now, armed with his own small­go­ods, he’s sling­ing flavour­some discs with part­ner and front-of-house whiz Ta­nia Houghton.

You can sit at the mar­ble bar or ta­bles and ban­quettes that run the length of the long, slender white­washed space. But it’s not just about the pizza. The wine list is a rip­ping rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what to drink right now and the an­tipasti are A-grade. Turk­ish pep­pers are roasted and served on romesco, while cel­ery, sun­flower seeds, cel­tuce and pecorino make for one of the best sal­ads in town, and the freshly made bom­bolone (cream-filled dough­nuts) could well be Syd­ney’s finest, too.

The ethos of sim­plic­ity and let­ting ingredients star is nowhere more ev­i­dent than here at Bella Brutta and, just like its sib­lings, it’s sure to set it­self apart from the pack.

PIZZA WITH PIZ­ZAZZ Skil­ful pizza-sling­ing and as­sured sim­plic­ity make Bella Brutta the hottest new des­ti­na­tion in New­town.

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