Our Eastside friends (Bedfordview, to be specific) have been challenging us Northerners to cross the border and find out what real pizza is all about.
Never one to turn down a challenge and thoroughly enticed by promises of “the greatest pizza ever” at the “lowest prices ever”, we agreed (well, most of us anyway). After some last minute changes, Osteria Rossa was booked and off we trekked.
Apologies for the lack of substantial photographs…Wasn’t feeling too trigger happy and battery died half way through.
Décor: Your trademark pizzeria simple red and white. Nothing over the top, nothing fancy. Perfect for a casual Saturday night pizza with friends.
Vibe: Packed. Uncomfortably so. The restaurant is fairly big with a lot of outside space – which is pretty useless at night in winter. I don’t know whether the tables were badly arranged or whether everyone that was there was a couple of kilos over weight, but I felt rather claustrophobic at times. If you don’t have the space don’t try and fit more people in.
Service: It took us close to 10 minutes to order our first round of drinks and we struggled to find our waitress when we needed her. Service speed notwithstanding, our orders were all taken correctly and came out the kitchen fairly quickly.
Pricing: Of the three places we’ve visited so far, Rossa ranks highest in terms of price. Pizzas are big and fantastically priced. A medium pizza with the works, washed down with quite a few glasses of Sangria will set you back between R150 and R170. Brilliant!
Base: Whilst I loved the rustic rectangular bases, I was disappointed at the level of done-ness. My base was barely browned underneath and not crispy at all. Pizza should never be eaten with a knife and fork… I had no choice. Some pizzas were well cooked, others not so much. Might have just been luck of the draw.
Average score: 3 out of 4
A coupla’ comments: “thick in places and undercooked”, “pizza to soft”, “Not enough tomato”, “Like a thicker base”
Toppings: A large selection including all the old favourites. Rossa is very generous with their toppings which are evenly dispersed across the whole pizza (nothing worse than all the toppings sitting in the middle of the pizza). However, generous toppings only work with a well-cooked base. Too many toppings on a soggy base means you can’t lift a slice to get it into your gob. See note on knife and fork.
Average score: 5 out of 5
A coupla’ comments: “awesome”, “mince was only ok, parma was great”, “perfect combo as chicken pizza is east to stuff up”
Awesomeness: There was much debate around the table as to whether or not Sangria should be given its only category in respect of story. I strongly (and loudly) drummed home my point that Sangria is always dealt with under awesomeness. And so it remains. Rossa serves good old fashioned Sangria by the jug full. We went through our fair share so I’ll take this to mean it was well liked. Personally, I thought it could have been sweeter and colder but I like my wine like I like my juice – in a box with a straw – so what do I know?
Average score: 4 out of 5
A coupla’ comments: “great toppings but needed a knife and fork”, “love the different shape and so well priced”
Overall: 12 out of 15. And we have a tie!
I’m not sure I would rush back to Rossa for an “eat in” experience but if I lived in the East, I would probably order it as a take away (with a note for it to be well cooked).
Shop 15 Bedford Village
Corner Van Buuren & Nicol
Tel: 011 455 5911