Saturday, 5 January 2013


The humble pizza. Fresh bread, tomato and cheese. For decades, historians have pondered whether it was the Italians or the Greeks who get the kudos, but to be honest, one could argue that humans have been enjoying the simple but satisfying slice since man discovered fire.

I can't tell you who INVENTED pizza, but I can, without a shred of doubt, break the news that Theo Kalogeracos has perfected it. To judge simply by the crowds that flock to his Little Caesar's eateries in Mundaring, Leederville and Hillarys every weekend, the man is the undisputed Don of dough. The master of margheritas. The god of gourmet toppings.

So, you ask, what's so mind-blowing about this Little Caesars? (not to be confused with the US based chain of the same name). For the uninitiated, it's pizza, but not like you'd normally know it. And by that I mean it's nothing like the double-stuffed-triple-cheese atrocities of Dominos. LC's bases are just the right thickness, and are fresh, crispy (not like oil drenched insulation batts!) but plain enough to allow the flavoursome toppings to shine through. Of course, they still serve the crowd pleasers like meatlovers and hawaiian, but LC is renowed for its exotic gourmet creations. There's so many to choose from, I suggest going with at least two or three friends! That way you can sample delights like the Pork Belly (slow roasted pork belly, braised onions, dijon), the Birds of Tokyo (teriyaki chicken with japanese cucumbers and mayo), or if you're up for a carb-fest, the Pisagne (lasagne and bolognaise).

Another reason why I have so much unreserved praise for LC's is because they have no less than FOURTEEN vegetarian pizzas. I can't seem to tire of the Saha (eggplant, cumin, spices, pine nuts, tzatziki and peri peri sauce), which is, in the words of a meat-adoring friend, 'a flavour sensation, a tastebud celebration'.

Anyway, moving onto the actual review. With yesterday's oppressive heat, we decided to escape to Hillarys Boat Harbour to cool off. LC's was bustling with activity when we arrived at 6.30, but we were lucky enough to grab a table for two. My only gripe is the seating arrangements (Leederville is a lot smaller than Hillarys, which has a decent amount of outdoor seating) and because the stores are jam packed at all hours, securing a table often becomes a game of wits and chance.

We ordered the cashew chicken and the tame impala. Service was slow, but bearing in mind it was a Saturday night at the busiest time of year, you could tell the staff were getting slaughtered. So we waited patiently, and our patience paid off when two fresh, hot pizzas arrived on a tiered stand.

Tame impala: haloumi cheese, green peppercorns, garlic, oregano and mozzarella
Cashew chicken: mushroom, cashews, chicken, mozzarella, onion, mozzarella, cream sauce and parsley
I didn't regret my choice. The haloumi was delicious with the peppercorns adding an extra kick of spicyness.

If you haven't lapsed into a post-consumption coma, you can also choose from a selection of decadent dessert pizzas.

Tea party: french cinnamon tea cake, semi carmelised pears, icing sugar and maple syrup
The 'tea party' pizza was visually striking and so wonderfully light and fruity on a warm evening.
The harbour @ sunset
The verdict: a Perth institution and great place for a quick bite or casual catch up. No fuss or frills, just delicious pizza. Prices range from $11 - $22.50. Love the 'no waste' culture and that customers are free to take home leftovers in the boxes provided. Waiting times can be a bit off-putting, just go before you're ravenous and never assume you'll get service immediately if it's busy!
Little Caesars Hillarys on Urbanspoon