Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar

It’s not often we recommend taking food away over eating in, but there’s a first time for everything. And when the food’s this good (arguably worthy of four stars), and the atmosphere this unbearable, you don’t really have a choice. To be fair, our standards might not be the same as everyone else’s—call us old-fashioned, but we like to focus on the conversation at hand, not the pounding chorus of a Jason Derulo track. Give them their dues though: The name says bar, and that’s just what this is—a quick service counter, with a handful of chairs and tables out front. And the food’s decent, once you get your head around the nine different sauce bases (everything from olive tapenade to hoisin, satay to sweet chili), and the fact that they’re rectangular. (It actually makes sharing them easier.) We started with the roast duck salad ($14), an attention-grabbing combo of thin-sliced meat and mixed leaves, featuring tangy mandarin segments and cucumber pieces slathered in chili lime dressing for a genuinely interesting flavor. We skipped the regular starters to save room for the real 13-by-8 inch, thin and crispy deal in the form of the Five Spice Pork Belly pizza ($23). It certainly gets our vote—shavings of pork mixed with pear slices, under a delicious walnut and balsamic vinegar glaze. The Szechuan Chilli Prawn variety ($25), once we’d stripped it of excess chilli, was also rather nice. Meaty prawns—perhaps a tad underdone—with spring onions and snow pea sprouts. We’d had about enough of the wait staff trying to force beer on us (in our defence, it was a school night), but hung around just long enough to scarf down the chocolate calzone ($12)—a pastry pocket stuffed with strawberries, double cream and chocolate hazelnut spread. It was an indulgence, but then so was not high-tailing it out of there the moment our food arrived.

It’s more than just dough and cheese at these gourmet pizza joints: expect lovingly hand-crafted pizzas with an imaginative array of toppings and perfectly blistered crust. Check out our top 10 pizza places.