- Pork Belly
- Octopus Tentacle
- Chorizo & Wild Boar Pizza
- Cauliflower Pizza
The Pork Belly was stunningly presented. Topped with crispy and slightly salty parsnip, underneath we uncovered some of the most flavoursome and tender pork belly. With equal layers of fat and protein, it was definitely a melt-in-your-mouth experience. This was paired with some charred enoki mushrooms that were juicy yet exhibited a slight crunch. All in all a very flavoursome and appetising starter.
We also enjoyed the Octopus Tentacle. The beautiful charred outer not only provided a nice crispness, but also created a very fragrant waft of aroma as it arrived at our table. While the protein was tougher than expected, slowly chewing through the protein allowed you to slowly appreciate the freshness of the seafood aroma. Coupled with bits of chorizo, the octopus was undeniably delicious when complemented by the lime aioli and and tangy yet refreshing salsa verde.
The Chorizo & Wild Boar Pizza was the highlight of the evening. Liberally applied, the broken chorizo pieces were well complemented by the light yet creamy ricotta. This was exceptionally well contrasted by the wild boar capocollo that exhibited incredible depth in flavour and a slightly gamey aftertaste. Served with some paprika smoked parsnip, this pizza was not shy on flavours and had the perfect balance in texture.
Cauliflower is a rather unconventional topping for pizzas, but we so adventurously decided to give it a go regardless. Being the vegan pizza option, it was surprisingly tasty while being lighter on flavours. The soft cauliflower was soft and mushy, contrasted by the earthy crispness of the beetroot slices. The spinach leaves were plentiful and fresh, and was well complemented by the soy cheese, which was fluffy and moist with a strong soy aftertaste. However, the weakest point of the toppings would be the cashews, which weren’t as crunchy as we hoped.
Both the pizza bases were made far too thin on this occasion. While I do appreciate a thin and crispy pizza base, our specimens severely lacked structural integrity and were honestly difficult to devour without the use of knifes and forks.
As an all-day eatery, Abacus provides South Yarra’s Chapel Street with a twist of creativity not normally found elsewhere. The unique combination of ingredients, coupled with solid execution, resulted in not only tasty, but also distinctive dishes and pizzas that I will crave for a long time coming. Coupled with impeccable and attentive service, that’s a winning combination in my books.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Most definitely. I simply can’t wait to return for their daytime menu, and more pizzas of course.