I recently heard about a new pizza place in Maylands called Rossonero Pizza and as I totally love pizza I got it in my head (basically immediately) that I’d like to go. And instead of just dinnering at said pizza place I’d like to take myself on a bit of a Maylands bar crawl, because despite growing up in the area it isn’t somewhere I usually head at night…. unless I’m visiting my parents’ place 🙂 So the mission was on.
The plan was that we’d start at Henry on Eighth for pre dinner drinks, onto Rossonero for pizza and after dinner festivities would continue at Swallow Bar. Obviously there’s scope to mix up the order, you could always kick things off at the Maylands Markets for some pre dinner nibbles (currently on the last Saturday of the month, before they return to once a week in the warmer months) or call into Chapels on Whatley for starters from their Eurasian menu (open on Fridays and Saturdays for dinner), or there’s Rifo’s Cafe, long time fixture on the corner of Guildford Road and Eighth Ave, but for our debut Maylands Bar Crawl we had our three chosen destinations locked and loaded.
Credit: Google Maps
I’d enlisted the help of two cousins so when they brought along another friend and we had five in attendance, we officially had a crew. I’d never been to Henry’s on Eighth before but when we arrived a touch before 6 we were able to snag the last table outside. It was a fresh evening so I took full advantage of the cosy blankets they had on offer to put across my lap.
With that done, we looked at the menus. On the food front my focus was on dinner, but we kick started the taste buds into gear with a serve of olives. I am keen to head back for a meal another time though because they had a particularly enticing sounding pasta dish that any other day of the week I’d have been all over. But instead we happily sat working through our dish of mixed olives while we waited for our drinks to arrive and they were a real mixed bag. Red wine for GG and I, one cider, a beer and a ginger beer. All bases covered!
Staff are friendly and helpful and they also had some great live music, which was a fun addition. So we were there for just under an hour, happily chatting and people watching along Eighth Avenue before I rallied the troops to head on to dinner at stop two.
However before getting to Rossonero we had to call into BWS which is helpfully about ten steps away from Henry on Eighth. Rossonero is currently BYO for the bargain price of $2pp, so we moseyed into the bottle-o for some bevvies to enjoy with dinner. Now I had a rough idea of where Rossonero was but wasn’t quite sure of the best way to get there. I asked the friendly chap behind the counter what the quickest way there would be and he directed us to head to the back of BWS, so we were soon standing outside the entrance to our dinner venue.
So Rossonero, it would be easy to miss this place from the understated exterior however the small glowing sign emblazoned with the word PIZZA definitely helps. Whilst it had seemed quiet on the outside clearly all the action was on the inside because the place was packed! I was grateful to have booked because we were directed to the only remaining empty booth. There’s a range of seating, the booths and then longer tables and chairs, but for our group I was glad for the booth. Plus we could spy some kitchen action from where we were sitting, which is always a bit of fun.
The place is just abuzz with activity. Great sound track that keeps the toes tapping, the murmur of constant conversations from table to table and the flurry of steps as pizzas were raced to tables. And daaaaaamn those pizzas looked good as I saw them fly by!
Now perhaps I had taken a cursory look at the menu (ok studied at length) before arriving and there were a few pizzas I had my eye on and not just because of their entirely awesome names. There were some very tempting flavour combinations on offer! We discussed it amongst the group and decided we’d go with four to start and see how we were feeling afterwards.
So we went with these:
- DIRTY HOSK ($22) hot sopressa, speck, ham, cacciatore, mozzarella, tomato base
- GLAZE OF GLORY ($19) cacciatore, tomato, bocconcini, oregano, tomato base, rocket, balsamic glaze
- LAI LAI ($17) ham, mozzarella, pineapple, tomato base
- SWEET CHEESUS (v) ($17) mozzarella, gorgonzola, bocconcini, parmesan, black pepper, white base
Timing wise it didn’t take long for the pizzas to appear, but they actually tide you over with a complimentary dish of a few olives when you are first seated and brought out water, so that was a bit lovely. But soon enough it was pizza show time! They all looked amazing!
I kicked things off with a slice of Lai Lai. It was great that they used fresh pineapple and the ham had a pleasing smokiness to it. With all pizzas the real test was in the base and it was super thin and just delicious! Perfectly cooked! And it was exceptionally good tomato sauce they were using too. One slice in and fair to say I was hooked! Next please!
Sweet Cheesus followed and wowsers if you are a cheese fan you are going to thoroughly enjoy this indulgent cheese overload! The medley of different types comes together with a decadent gooeyness and there’s a good kick of Gorgonzola blue that shines through. It’s rich, it’s cheese, sweet cheesus it’s fabulous!
Meatlovers are going to get their kicks on Route 66 and also with the Dirty Hosk because it’s a fair meat-a-poloosa! As we learnt the fellow that runs the show is actually a vegetarian but had a good mate who put in a special request for a meat lover and thus his name sake pizza the Dirty Hosk came to be. And yeah, it’s wonderful.
Last up was the Glaze of Glory and it was almost refreshing to finish with all that rocket greenery. This was one of my favourites. It was really well balanced and so punchy with all the different flavours. The tangy sweetness from the balsamic glaze was a beautiful addition and contrasted a treat with the slight spice from the cacciatore and creaminess of the bocconcini.
Just delicious! All four pizzas had knocked it out of the park and I couldn’t wait to try more! Now on another night I would likely have said “why yes kind sir I would like an icecream sandwich” (They are made with Chicho Gelato – come on!) but as we had one more destination, I instead popped it on my ‘one day I will eat that’ wishlist. And after a fond farewell to our entirely friendly hosts we sauntered our way down Eighth Avenue to Swallow Bar.
I’d only ever been to Swallow Bar once before but it’s a lovely spot and though relatively narrow it has a quaint and quirky fit out. The booths in the front are actually part of an old train carriage which is actually pretty awesome given it is right across the road from the Maylands train station. It’s embraced the history, now our group of five meant that a booth would have been a tad too squishy so we headed out the back and happily found a table with ample room for our bar hopping crew.
I had grand plans for a cheese platter to round out the evening on the food front, plus also had my eye on a serve of their beignets, in part because I didn’t know if I’d ever tried one. I think that deep-fried choux pastry sounds pretty fantastic! But the beignets and cheese platter will have to wait for another day, because I was feeling on the fuller side and so we just enjoyed a few drinks at our last stop.
They have a solid list and for our group we enjoyed everything from cider to wine to cocktails. And don’t the Long Island Iced Teas look the part with the little umbrellas! Loved it and from the sip I had they tasted amazing too! Swallow Bar was a great spot to end our Maylands tour. Chilled vibe, friendly staff, cool tunes and just a great place to sit for a drink and a have a good chat with your crew.
So there you go, we toured Maylands and it had been a great night out! Three fabulous venues, just a short walk between them, too easy! I hope to do it again soon! And if you are looking for a bit of a progressive night out, then give this one a whirl. Great work Maylands! 🙂