I'm normally pretty blasé about marketing events but when I was offered an exclusive invite to the launch of Crust Pizza's new 'Simply Better' range of pizzas I couldn't resist.
Crust Pizza has been our go to pizza for State of Origin nights for soooo many years now. Whenever the boys come over for the series, at least 1 of those 3 nights we would call our local Crust and get enough pizza to feed the crew as well as have for leftovers the next day. Over the years we've provided tried most of the flavours and we end up usually falling back to our favourites which inevitably includes Peri Peri chicken. Other flavours we tried which weren't so favoured included Peking duck - a strange fusion which had bok choy and slices of duck meat but pretty much just tasted like Hoisin sauce, lol.
Anyways, hearing that Crust Pizza were going back to the drawing board and launching new pizza flavours (woot!) I just had to go and try them out. The launch was at Bondi beach - right at the forecourt area (a bit of a pain to get to – the government should have just made a train line that went straight to the beach!) and involved a small fenced of area and a portable kitchen. Entertainment was provided by some local artists but we know that everyone there was really there for the pizzas :P
The new range is called the 'Simply Better' range and whilst they have stuck to their tradition of creating unique pizza flavours that aren't usually offered by the other pizza chains, the new trend here seems to be towards a slightly healthier spin. This can be seen through their use of spelt and wholemeal pizza bases which are reportedly more nutritious and healthier than traditional types of flour based pizza bases and a focus on fresh ingredients such as the marinated spiced meats which are cooked in house at each pizza shop.
Concept display at the venue
The person running us through the details of this new range was actually one of the franchisees of Crust (whose name I have forgotten >_<) and I was pleasantly surprised by the knowledge that he had as well as his passion towards pizzas. Throughout the night he was either presenting about pizzas, talking about pizzas to the guests or in the kitchen working on preparing the pizzas. He was particularly proud of the produce used in the pizzas, highlighting the ‘paddock to plate’ aspect as well as how pretty much all the ingredients are locally sourced.
The franchisee presenting the new pizza range
Now straight on to the pizzas. The pizzas tried and tested are below. Apologies for the grainy imagery as it was getting quite dark by this stage.
Biltong Spiced Lamb - $21 for a large - We first got to try the main ingredient of the Biltong spiced lamb on its own first before trying the pizza. Biltong is a blend of South African herbs which is used here to coat the lamb. Seriously mouthwatering – it wasn’t a taste combination that I had previously tried, but the herbs made the lamb so much more succulent if that is even possible.
The pizza itself had the lamb, broccolinni, pine nuts, lemon yoghurt dressing and notably a significant amount of chilies. And these chilies were hot! The spelt base didn’t have much difference in taste but the base did seem a bit crisper. Best part of the pizza was of course the lamb.
Harissa Hummus Chicken - $21 for a large. The unique thing about this pizza was the Hummus base! If you love hummus then this is a must try. Other toppings included chickpeas, almond slivers, and capsicum, garnished with rocket and drizzled with mint yoghurt.
Wagyu Shoga -$21 for a large – Apparently shoga means ginger in Japanese and you can definitely taste it on this pizza. Those flakes on top you see there are basically all ginger. Actually this was my favourite of the night but I am a notable ginger fan. The other toppings included Wagyu beef, wild mushroom, capsicum and the infamous hoisin sauce – luckily this time it wasn’t overpowering.
As you can see below, the chilies here are on the side :P