Eat this... bulgogi pizza
What is it?
Bulgogi pizza ($15.90) is what you get when Korea and Italy collide in the kitchen. Start with a thin crust pizza, smother it with tomato and mozzarella cheese and drape generously with bulgogi - tender slices of marinated sweet barbecued beef that make up one of Korea’s national dishes. We could probably do without the sliced Spanish olives on top, but florets of blanched broccoli add colour and crunch. The bulgogi beef topping works surprisingly well, like Korean homecooking meeting teenage comfort food.
Where can I get it?
Head to Mario Tokyo Pizza, an Asian-inspired café serving up pizza and pasta and everything in-between. There’s fried rice listed next to risotto, and a pizza listing that runs from prosciutto to teriyaki chicken.
What’s it like?
It’s mostly a young Asian student crowd here, drawn in by the modern décor and chirpy red, black and white colour scheme. A mural of cartoons and garbled graffiti along the back wall is trippy yet disarmingly cute. Seating is on a cushioned bench that runs the length of the dining room or funky retro seats in black and white. Smokers huddle around the outdoor tables.
What else is available?
Of the 24 different types of pizza, the bulgogi is easily the best of the lot. Cheese lovers will revel in the gorgonzola ($13.90) served with honey, or the sweet corn and mozzarella cheese ($12.90). Skip the patata mozzarella ($14.90), loaded with potato wedges that are more mealy than crisp. Crabbrocolli (sic) pasta ($15.90) is a creamy combination of seafood sticks, broccoli and flying fish roe. The pasta section menu is neatly categorised into cream, tomato and olive oil sauces, and includes alio e olio garlic spaghetti ($12.90), carbonara ($13.90) and Osaka pasta: prawn, squid, mussels, baby octopus and scallop with garlic, chilli bean sauce and cabbage ($16.90). Breakfast options start at 8am with the standard bacon, sausage and egg fry-ups.
What about dessert?
Don’t miss the honey bread ($8.50), a massive doorstop of soft and sweet white bread that is toasted lightly and then covered in whipped cream, toasted almond flakes and your choice of drizzled syrup.