When it comes to pizza, nobody’s doing it quite like the team behind modern Melbourne Italian institution A25. Having started their pizza empire in Docklands in 2010, owner Remo Nicolini set out to reimagine the humble pizza for hungry Melburnians who wanted something healthy, creative and delicious. And, being the food adventurers that we are, we set out to try their seven most drool-worthy creations, ticking one off every day for a week.
Reckon you can’t eat pizza every day for a week? At each of A25’s locations, in Docklands, Melbourne CBD and South Yarra, the team have crafted a range of pizzas that use light, adventurous doughs (more on their crazy creations below…), deliciously fresh ingredients, and toppings that mix things up, so you’ll never get a) bored, or b) bloated. Seven pizzas, seven days, no regrets!
Verdict: A Seafood Sensation
On day one, we figured we’d go for a pizza that’s been on A25’s menu for a while now. The eye-poppingly beautiful ink pizza uses a unique squid ink base which has been developed by the A25 team to complement the array of seafood that you’ll find on top of this beauty.
Covered in prawns, calamari, chilli broccolini, cherry tomatoes, pecorino cheese, parsley and a sprinkle of black pepper, this is one delicious seafood fest. The prawns were a real highlight—juicy, fresh and perfect with a touch of chilli oil. We scoffed the lot with an Italian lemonade while browsing the menu, trying to figure out what tomorrow’s pick should be.
Pizza: Silvio’s Beef Cheek
Verdict: The Ultimate Winter Pizza
On day two, Melbourne’s weather had taken its usual turn for the worse (uh, hello, three months worth of rain in one night), so we were CRAVING something hearty and rich. A25 suggested Silvio’s Beef Cheek, an incredible creation that comes topped with braised beef cheek, cauliflower puree, smoked mozzarella, caramelised onion, and a house-made gremolata (a dressing made from garlic parsley and citrus) which includes a splash of Pedro Ximenez sherry, aka the nectar of the Gods.
The secret here has to be the Chinotto—a traditional Italian soft drink that’s made from oranges—which the chefs slow-braise the beef in. Juicy, tender and deliciously sweet, we’d eat the meat alone by the bowlful.
Pizza: Rosso Di Serra (‘Red By Night’)
Verdict: Luxe Vegetarian, 100% Drool-Worthy... So Good We Took It Home!
After yesterday’s meat feast, we decided to go vego on hump day. Thankfully, taking the animal-friendly approach at A25 doesn’t mean merely getting stuck with the mozzarella. The incredible Rosso Di Serra, or ‘red by night’ in Italian, combines a 100% spelt base—waaaay more digestible than usual wheat—with organic beetroot, radicchio, truffle honey, gorgonzola, mozzarella, and, to top it off, candied walnuts. Whether you’re vego or not, this is one incredible flavour combo that won’t leave you feeling bloated and gross.
We popped two slices of this one in a take-away box for lunch the next day, and then went on our merry way to stock up on candied walnuts because we basically want to add them to everything EVER. Thanks for the new addiction, A25…
Pizza: Matcha Chicken Stracciatella
Verdict: Health + Flavour = A Clean Eating Favourite
On Thursday, we were looking for something that would still let us experience all that pizza-y goodness, but that ticked our protein and greens health boxes. Say hello to the Matcha Chicken Stracciatella.
I know what you’re thinking, that name is a real mouthful! But tackling the tricky pronunciation is totally worth it when it earns you a matcha base, topped with chilli roasted free-range chicken, egg, percorino, roquette and cavolo nero, which is the infinitely trendier, Italian version of kale. The A25 team explained that the green-based creation was inspired by a famous Italian soup, which combines chicken broth with eggs and greens. So the next time people talk about that bone broth diet, you know what your solution needs to be.
Verdict: A Big Kid's Dream... Because Friday?
You guys, HOTDOG PIZZA. If, like us, you become a big kid when it hits 5pm on a Friday, you’ll love the spaghetti chip-topped Hotdog pizza at A25, which is the perfect beer pizza (hey, it *was* Friday, after all…). This nostalgic recipe combines classic Frankfurters, picante mustard, tomato, mozzarella and a heap of potato chips in one delicious pizza that is actually served in Italy…or so we were told!
Pizza: Roman Pizza Cheeseburger
Verdict: Basically The Best Bits Of A Cheeseburger, Wrapped In A Pizza
After a killer HIIT session on Saturday morning, we decided that we’d worked off that dessert burger and therefore deserved another treat, but one that would keep us full all day. A Roman pizza cheeseburger sounded like just the ticket.
Imagine all of the best components of a cheeseburger—mouth-watering wagyu beef, organic cheddar, housemade cacciatore ketchup—wrapped up inside a parcel of pizza dough, along with some roasted veggies and truffle aioli for good measure, then oven baked until golden. Add a few bolognese arancini balls, which come stuffed with melted cheese, and you’ve got this A25 monstrosity that’s the cousin of the calzone. It tasted as good as it looked, and we didn’t need dinner. If you’re a fan of burgers and/or meatballs, we can guarantee you’ll be drooling over this one for days.
Pizza: Black Forest
Verdict: #AllTheBerries With Added Nutella?! Hell Yes!
By Sunday, we felt like the one thing we’d been missing out on was fruit, so after a quick chat with A25’s in-house pizza experts, they recommended we ditch the savouries and go for the Black Forest dessert pizza, a berry-topped treat that comes with an injectable raspberry puree, as well as a healthy portion of blackberries, cherries and strawberries. Of course, there were crushed Oreos and Nutella involved too, but we didn’t let that deter us. Hey, fruit’s fruit, right?
Again, this came served on a thin, crispy base that means there’s more room for the good stuff. Like melted chocolate, obviously.
Pizza: Rocky Road Dessert Burger
Verdict: #FatFeed Heaven
Because we're ALL about the desserts, we sweet-talked the guys at A25 into letting us try the incredible rocky road burger—a marshmallow, nutella and vanilla bean ice-cream filled delight—that uses light and tasty pizza dough instead of the classic burger bun. Add a handful of crushed chocolate pistachios, a sprinkling of raspberry powder, and a skewer of freshly toasted marshmallows, and you’re in dessert heaven. We’re demanding this instead of a birthday cake every year from now on. Just add a couple of candles and you’re good to go!
So, would we do a week of pizza again? Honestly, we still felt pretty enthusiastic about our favourite Italian dish after seven days of slice action, mostly down to A25’s variety of options and lighter ingredients. Now, the only question is, could you handle the challenge?
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by A25 and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey White and Michelle Jarni for The Urban List