14 August 2023

Hot in the Suburbs: A round of applause for Bravo

| Lucy Ridge
Staff tossing pizza dough

Alex Piris (right) and his team stretch and toss their pizza dough in front of a large window at Red Hill Shops. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Fox & Bow owner Alex Piris expanded from Farrer to Red Hill, opening a second location of the suburban cafe in late 2022. Now the team has added another string to its (fox &) bow with Bravo, a small pizza shop behind the Red Hill cafe.

Driving into the carpark at the Red Hill shops I can already see the team at work through the large picture window where Alex and his son are tossing pizza dough. Alex says that even though they’ve only had the shop for a few months, the team has stepped up to the challenge and picked up the skills quickly.

“You’re always learning in this industry,” Alex told Region.

“The minute you stop learning, that’s when you should get out and do something else.”

pizzas on a picnic table

The delicious mussel and prawn pizza is topped with fermented chilli oil. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

There’s a list of pizzas on the wall and we make our choice. I’ve been recommended the Kinkawooka chilli mussel and prawn pizza, and my mate chooses the porcini mushroom pizza. The mushroom pizza is a ‘bianca’ or white pizza, with Meredith dairy goat’s feta and pesto.

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Alex has taken care to acknowledge the provenance of his ingredients, which is important to him as a business owner. They use potatoes from Ingelara farm at Michelago, ham from the Red Hill butcher, and recent special featured Jerusalem artichokes from “Bronwyn from the Bay!”

pizza menu

Which pizza will you choose? Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Most customers are grabbing their pizza to take away, but there are a couple of bar stools and picnic tables with outdoor heaters and blankets if you want to brave the cold and dine in (probably a more popular option as the weather warms up).

It’s still early days for Bravo, and they’ve become very popular very quickly. So when there’s a run on takeaway orders you might have to wait a little for your pizza. Fortunately, we’d come prepared with enough layers so we popped into the supermarket next door for some fresh mandarin juice and settled in next to a heater.

It turns out that the staff at Red Hill SupaExpress are such fans of the pizza next door, the Bravo team has named a pizza after one of them: Brendo’s Fav is a classic ham and pineapple and he recommends pairing it with a Nick O’Leary Riesling!

zucchini pizza

Vegetarians will enjoy the zucchini pizza. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

In about 15 minutes our pizzas are ready to go. And they are top notch! Straight from the wood-fired oven in the corner, they’re delivered to us piping hot. The toppings are generous, without overwhelming the structural integrity of the dough which is properly chewy and just the right amount of charred.

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My pizza is topped with fermented chilli oil, which has a bit of a kick to it, and it’s delicious. I enjoy that they’ve chopped up the prawns before adding them to the pizza: whole prawns might look fancier but this way I get a good amount of prawn in every single bite and they don’t fall off.

rice pudding dessert

Bravo also serves up house-made lasagna, tiramisu and dessert specials like this rice pudding. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Obviously, I stole a piece of mushroom pizza (it’s called journalistic integrity, look it up) and I can confirm it was also very delicious: the umami richness of the mushrooms is cut with the tangy cheese and the pesto was simply delicious.

We’re treated to a dessert special: a creamy rice pudding with poached quince and crunchy shaved coconut. I had previously asserted I was so full I would die if I ate another mouthful but I summoned up the strength to finish half a bowl. It was rich, but so moreish I simply couldn’t stop. I was also eyeing off the tiramisu and burnt basque cheesecake, but they’ll have to wait until next time.

Tossing pizza at Bravo

The woodfired pizza shop opened just a few months ago, but they’re already a local favourite. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Bravo has quickly become a local favourite and there was a steady stream of takeaway customers all evening.

It’s a standing ovation from me, bravo!

Bravo is located at the Red Hill shops, 4/4 Duyfken Place, Red Hill.
They are open from 5 pm to 8 pm Wednesday and Thursday, and from 12 pm to 8 pm Friday and Saturday.
Follow Bravo on Instagram, or order online via their website.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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