Dante Pizzeria

Ponsonby Centre, 136 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand

Back to search results

This little pizzeria group was founded in 2006 in Kumeu by Kevin Morris, born in Essex in England but with an Italian mother. The restaurant is named after his grandfather. These days there are branches in Takapuna and this one in the lively Ponsonby Centre, a development heaving with restaurants and bars. This was the first pizzeria in New Zealand to be certified as producing authentic Naples style pizza to the demanding standards of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, though I note that their membership appears to have lapsed. This is a trade association in Naples that specifies in excruciating detail the way to make a Neapolitan pizza, setting out everything from the oven temperature to the pH balance of the flour used. The oven here, built by the century old Naples company Gianni Acunto, gets up to 475C and cooks a pizza in 60 to 90 seconds. The base, using Caputo flour, takes four days elapsed to make. The tomatoes are San Marzano ones imported from Naples, the mozzarella from Campania.

The restaurant is partly in the open air and is tiny, with just two tables plus numerous bar stools around these. They are not designed for lingering, and were being rapidly turned on the evening that we visited. As well as the classic margherita (NZ$24) and marinara (NZ$20), there were several other varieties, as well as freshly made pasta dishes. We tried a Contadina (portobello mushrooms, vine tomatoes, olives, basil and artichokes as well as mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes) at NZ$30 and a diavola (spicy salami, red chilli, chorizo and San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella) at NZ$32.The base was lovely, soft and supple, the crust having the leopard-like black spots that a hot oven generates. Toppings were generous and of high quality, though some purists may prefer sparser toppings. The tomatoes really did taste of tomato, and the salami was excellent. I found these pizzas really quite hard to fault, and they would stand comparison with the best in London. Service was friendly despite the crowds and the bill came to NZ$46 (£25) per person with beer to drink. This is a little gem of a pizzeria, and well worth seeking out if you are in Auckland.

Add a comment


User comments