When it comes to Pizza South Africa has it. You can get a thousand different types of pizza from dozens of different takeaway places, so the fact that there is a relatively new pizza place in Rivonia, Johannesburg should not be an exciting development. Despite this, over the past few months “Smack Pizza Company” has been creating something of a buzz and developing fans at a rapid rate, and it all comes down to “that pizza base”.
Smack Pizza Company calls itself a New York pizza bar, serving “coal-fired New York style pizza”. The menu is small and comprises a range of pizzas, and pastas, as well as their other signature dish; different Macaroni cheeses. Of the latter, the one we tasted was the meatball Macaroni cheese, which was crisp on top, and cheesy and creamy inside, with delicious herbal afternotes on each bite.
It’s clear that by keeping their offering size down Smack has been able to focus on what it is they do well. This is not the kind of establishment where you will find something for everyone. Here they do pizzas, and they do them in just two sizes. The usual 32cm ones and the table-feeding 55cm “Party Pies”.
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The cheeses used are all top drawer, the toppings fresh and the balance is right between the sauce and the cheese, but where Smack truly excels is in the pizza base, which is by far and away the best in the city. Made from stone-ground flour the sourdough is allowed to prove for 48 hours before it is turned into pizza bases resulting in an airy, lightly crispy, and chewy dough, the taste of which will leave you devouring the crusts to the last bite.
The fact that this dough is paired with creamy, rich cheese, and delicately balanced sauces feels like overkill, and there is little doubt Smack will soon become a household name as the brand is invariably franchised. The pizzas come in a variety of styles from the simple Margherita, here known as “The classic” through to the more creative Tikka Paneer (Tikka Paneer, peppadews, hard Italian cheese and spring onions) and the Buffalo chicken (Chicken breast, hot sauce, blue cheese dressing and spring onions). As an added bonus, the slow rise process means the bases are extremely low in Gluten.
The prices are also surprisingly reasonable with pizzas starting at just R65 and going up to R135 for the Meat Feast pizza (Chille con carne, bacon, peppadew, ham, red onions and green pepper).
The restaurant itself has something of a speedy, takeaway feel, the clean lines and light tables and chairs give a sense of movement, though the small touches like an app operated jukebox, the pinball machines and the American style graffiti walls also make it a perfectly happy place to sit and enjoy a table busting pizza with your friends before a night out. Smack is trendy, exciting, and most importantly delivering great pizza. Try it soon.