Crust Pizza by Candlelight

by April@MyFoodTrail on July 9, 2011

in Food Events

Two weeks ago, I was invited along to an exclusive Crust gourmet pizza dinner at the Armadale store to try out Crust Pizza’s new range of ultra-gourmet pizzas. I was tempted by the sound of five spice pork belly and wagyu on a pizza!

Crust Pizza New Menu Launch

My local Crust Pizza store is just a store front for takeaway pizzas, with customers taking their pizzas home to eat. When I turned up at the Armadale branch, I was expecting to be brought into the kitchen to be shown how the pizzas are made, but instead we were led to a courtyard out the back which had been fitted out to look like a 5 star restaurant, complete with candles. It was certainly my first time eating pizza by candlelight! The Crust Pizza store in Armadale is the only store in Victoria that you can “eat in”.

Crust Pizza New Menu Launch
Crust Pizza by candlelight

We were introduced to head Creative Chef Peter Augoustis who shared some interesting facts about Crust Pizza. Crust Gourmet Pizza bar first opened in Sydney in 2001 with the first Victorian store being opened in 2002 in Richmond. The first international store was opened last year in Singapore, bringing the total number of Crust stores to 62 at the end of last year. Some of the busiest stores make 2,000 pizzas a week! That’s a lot of pizzas. The best selling pizza is the chicken peri peri.

Crust Pizza - Peter Augoutis
Chef Peter Augoustis in action

Peter demonstrated how to make the perfect pizza dough and then made some pizzas in front of us. Peter explained that you should let the key ingredient shine when it comes to pizza toppings and sometimes less is more. Cheese should always go on the bottom to help protect the base and when putting on your pizza toppings, you start from the outside and work your way to the middle. Every bite should have something in it.

The first pizza to come out for tasting was the wagyu prawn. It’s a rectangular pizza with slices of wagyu beef, marinated tiger prawns, asparagus, red capsicum and shallots, and drizzled with a hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise sauce on a pizza is such a genius idea! This pizza was delicious, my favourite one of the night. I had another piece and would have gone for a third, but there were still other pizzas to taste!

Crust Pizza - Waygu Prawn
Upper Crust Pizza: Wagyu Prawn – 4+ marble score wagyu beef, asparagus spears, roasted capsicum, shallots & marinated tiger prawns on a tomato base, drizzled with hollandaise sauce, served with cracked pepper & sea salt

The second pizza brought out was the one I was looking forward to the most, the five spice pork belly. This pizza was also rectangular and had slices of five spice marinated pork belly with rocket, crushed walnuts, pear chunks and a balsamic glaze. Unfortunately it turned out to be my least favourite. I found the pizza too cinnamony and I think the pear would have been much better thinly sliced, than in big chunks (feedback we gave to Peter). I couldn’t eat the walnuts, so I gave them to Shellie, who from that point on became my stand in hubby (tee hee, private joke :P).

Crust Pizza - Five Spice Pork Belly
Upper Crust Pizza: Five Spice Pork Belly – Five spice marinated pork belly & pear slices on a tomato base, topped with wild rocket, crushed walnuts & balsamic glaze

Next up was the Salmon Benedict pizza. This was a round pizza with smoked salmon, red onions and baby spinach and also drizzled with hollandaise sauce. I think they should have added poached eggs and it would be the perfect breakfast pizza! I normally don’t like salmon pizzas because the salmon always ends up being overcooked, but this one wasn’t.

Crust Pizza - Salmon Benedict
Seafood Pizza: Salmon Benedict – Smoked salmon, Spanish onions & baby spinach on a tomato base, drizzled with hollandaise sauce, served with cracked pepper & sea salt

The next pizza was the Cajun chicken pizza. It was a round pizza with Cajun spiced chicken, red onions, green capsicum, mushrooms and jalapenos, topped with Peri-Peri sauce. This pizza had a spicy kick to it even without eating the jalapenos. It was my second favourite for the night. I really liked the sauces on the pizzas.

Crust Pizza - Cajun Chicken
Chicken Pizza: Cajun – Cajun spiced chicken breast fillets, Spanish onions, green capsicum, mushrooms & jalapenos on a spicy tomato base, topped with Peri-Peri sauce

The fifth and final pizza was the peppercorn wagyu pizza. This was a round pizza with wagyu beef slices, asparagus, caramelised onions and pine nuts, drizzled with a peppercorn sauce. By this stage, I was really full so I resorted to eating the toppings and leaving behind the dough! I don’t like too much pepper so I found this pizza too “peppery” for me.

Crust Pizza - Peppercorn Wagyu
Meat Pizza: Peppercorn Wagyu – 4+ marble score wagyu beef, asparagus, caramelised onions & toasted pine nuts on a tomato base, drizzled with peppercorn sauce

We ended the night with a fun, interactive group activity. We were divided into 3 groups and each group had to come up with their own dessert pizza, give it a name, and give it a marketing slogan and the judges would pick a winning pizza. We had a choice of 3 bases – nutella, condensed milk and caramel, as well as a host of fruits, nuts and chocolate toppings.

Crust Pizza - Creating dessert pizza
Designing a dessert pizza

I was on Team Awesome, with fellow bloggers Shellie and I-Hua, as well as two others, Cat and Jade. We came up with the “Nutella Sutra” pizza which was a nutella base, with caramelised banana, desiccated coconut, fresh strawberries and crumbled hazelnuts. I love Nutella so I loved this pizza. The funniest part of the night was when Peter kept pronouncing the name of our pizza wrong! I don’t think everyone got the play on words with the “kama sutra”!!

Crust Pizza - Nutella Sutra
The Nutella Sutra – Nutella base, with caramelised banana, desiccated coconut, fresh strawberries & topped with crumbled hazelnuts

Another team designed the “Girls night in” pizza, which had a condensed milk base, blood orange, milk chocolate bits, cinnamon and drizzled with melted chocolate. This pizza was really sweet due to the condensed milk base, which I found dominated the flavour.

Crust Pizza - Girls Night In
Girls night in – Condensed milk base, blood orange, milk chocolate bits, sprinkled with cinnamon & drizzled with melted chocolate

The final team came up with the “Banofee toffee” pizza. The pizza had a caramel base, with caramelised banana, chocolate and was topped with whipped cream. I thought it was a clever name (like a banofee pie) and they ended up winning. How can you go wrong with caramel, chocolate and banana?

Crust Pizza - Banofee Toffee
Banofee toffee – Caramel base, with caramelised banana, chocolate & topped with whipped cream

I was all pizza-ed out by the end of the night but had a great time!

You can check out the full Crust Pizza menu here.

My fellow dining companions’ posts:
Iron Chef Shellie
Ms I-Hua

Over & Out, April xx

April attended the Crust Pizza dinner as a guest of Crust Pizza and Keep Left PR.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie July 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm

awesome photos! i want more pizza now!

Reply

Michelle Chin July 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I miss your posts! Blog somemore!

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Yasmeen July 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

This is all just very cool. Fab to get invited to such an event, and even more fab to eat all of that deliciousness!

Reply

msihua July 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Yum.. I was sad we didn't get to try their old stuff.. but I love love love that cajun chicken.. and I love their lamb pizza… Weeeee

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penny aka jeroxie July 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I think I should use my voucher soon! YUM

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April @ My Food Trail July 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Shellie: Thanks! I want more pizza too!

Michelle: Awwww, too sweet! I'll try to blog more!

Yasmeen: These kind of events are lots of fun.

Msihua: That's why you have to go back! They have sooo many different pizzas, it's so hard to make a choice.

Penny: I would recommend trying the wagyu prawn!

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jess☆ July 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Oh wow! These pizzas look incredible! A CRUST store has just opened near my house – much looking forward to giving it a try now!

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April @ My Food Trail July 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Jess: It's worth trying for yourself!

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Jacky May 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

CRUST peri peri is the best pizza in Australia, big call but true!!…..my husband and I must be there biggest fans, we always have extra sauce added.
It’s our fortnightly treat. YAY FOR CRUST

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April@MyFoodTrail May 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Mmmm…. extra sauce! Now I’m craving pizza! 🙂

Reply

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