Hooray! Good pizza arrives in Barkly Street West Footscray thanks to Ovest (which means ‘west’ in Italian but also unfortunately clashes with the name of the Footscray Hospital cafeteria and a vaginal cream!).
The modernist building used to house the ANZ bank and Serbian social club and now it contains a shiny Spanish stone-deck electric oven that churns out delicious pizzas six days a week.
The menu includes entrees of mostly fried things (saganaki, calamari, fritters) plus sizzling garlic prawns and buffalo mozzarella served with bresaola and figs. The mains include a tuna nicoise salad, lasagna, cannelloni and daily roast pulled from the same pizza oven.
Pizzas are the name of the game here, with fourteen to choose from (gluten free bases are an extra $1). They are large do I recommend one between two.
I particularly like their margherita, which is fragrant with fresh basil and melted buffalo mozzarella ($17.50), as well as the prawn pizza with a bianco base (ie olive oil, no passata) generously topped with cubes of zucchini, chilli, mint, ricotta and fior de latte ($21).
We’ve tried the pizzas both eat in and takeaway and can highly recommend them. The bases are crisp rather than chewy so whether you like it depends on your personal preference – but the toppings are excellent, full of flavour and colour. The first time we tried the pizzas we did think that they contained too much residual oil but this has not been the case on subsequent visits.
For dessert we shared a rich dark chocolate mousse ($10) and vanilla flecked yoghurt panna cotta in a glass with mango jelly ($10). Both were pretty good without being amazing so if you’re too full from pizza then give them a miss.
We visited on the third day of opening and found the service a bit chaotic (incorrect reservation, slow to serve, missing cutlery) but hopefully those glitches have been smoothed over now. Also note that the industrial space of metal and timber floors can get very loud and I think a few softening touches in the decor would help with the noise levels. It was half full on our visit and already too loud for easy conversation.
Ovest is a great local pizzeria for an easy dinner with family and friends and as a fussy pizza eater I think it makes the best pizzas in the inner west that I’ve tried so far.
Ovest, 572 Barkly St, West Footscray (03) 9687 7766