Gigi’s pizza parlour has banned CHEESE from the menu: Restaurant swaps mozzarella for ‘plant-based’ toppings… but insists their slices are not too dry
A popular pizza haunt in Sydney has boldly taken a step towards a completely plant based menu taking cheese completely off its menu.
Gigi’s Pizzeria, in Sydney’s inner west suburb, Newtown, has ‘gone back to the classics,’ stripping their traditional Neapolitan pizzas of all things dairy and meat, for a totally vegan inspired menu.
Long gone are the days of the double smoked ham and stringy Mozzarella wood fired pizzas, after owner Marco Matino made the decision to create a menu described as both ‘sustainable and ethical.’
In an interview with Concrete Playground, Mr Matino said: ‘Woodfired pizza is an art form which will always be relevant no matter how times change.’
‘Marinara pizzas [with just tomato, garlic and oil] were the first served in Naples for over forty years before the Margherita was introduced,’ continued Mr Matino.
The concept of a cheeseless pizza, has baffled purists, with some going as far as to comment that ‘a pizza without cheese is not a pizza,’ on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Despite the ‘naysayers’ lurking across social media, the launch of the all vegan menu on Wednesday night was a resounding success, as seen in pictures posted onto the restaurant’s Facebook page.
‘A MASSIVE THANK YOU to our family, friends, loyal customers and new customers for being there to celebrate our new menu…What a night!’ read the post.
In one social media photo, a line snaked along Newtown’s King Street, shows hoards of hungry customers, eager to take part in a completely free eating frenzy, hosted by the restaurant.
Mr Matino told the Daily Mail Australia that he and had a team of pizza chefs with him while he tossed and rolled out hundreds of pizzas to an undetermined number of guests.
‘The crowds were so big, I couldn’t tell you how many people were there,’ said Mr Matino.
The inspiration for the new menu was both a ‘personal’ and ‘thought-out process’ that were influenced by Mr Matino’s own food preferences.
‘It’s a hard question to answer why I changed the menu, because there are so many factors that played into it,’ said Mr Matino.
‘I’m vegan, and personally have always been involved with good food. When you become aware of different products and the way they are sourced you begin to really think about the types of food you’re creating,’ he continued.
Mr Matino hosted the free tasting as a way to introduce customers to ‘delicious’ vegan counterparts and boasted that his favourite pizza will always be ‘the original…the marinara.’
‘You can’t get better than the original, it’s always been the best, nothing I’ve put on my menu will ever take its spot at the top,’ said Mr Matino.
Feedback on the new menu has been mixed due to the restaurant’s customers who are ‘passionate about their mozzarellas and salami,’ said Mr Matino to Good Food.
‘It’s understandable that not everyone is positive about the change, but there’s been a lot of support too,’ continued Mr Matino.
As one of 14 pizzerias in Australia certified by the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, the non-profit Italian organisation has been on a mission to protect ‘true Neapolitan pizza,’ reported Good Food.
‘A lot of people have argued that it’s not traditional to take mozzarella off pizza, but actually, the most traditional pizza you can order doesn’t have any meat or cheese on it,’ said Mr Matino.
The new cheese and meat free menu hosts a variety of different vegan friendly options that range from $17 to $24.
The Marinara Tradizionale goes back to the classics with San Marzano tomato base, garlic, fresh oregano and extra virgin olive oil at $17.
The Funghi e Radicchio, $22, is the only pizza on the menu that hosts a dairy-free cheese alternative as well as, Swiss brown mushrooms, garlic, parsley, radicchio, roasted walnuts and extra virgin olive oil.
But the crowning glory of decadent vegan delights, goes to the Patate, $24 with thin sliced roasted potatoes, garlic, rosemary and black truffle pate.
Along with the vegan inspired pizza options, Mr Matino has also changed desserts to stick to the new guidelines of the plant based menu.
Homemade sorbets, cannoli with pistachio cream and dairy-free cakes can be found priced between $4 and $11.