Papas Wholemeal Pizza Cafe

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9 reviews
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61 Sandringham Road,

(09) 849 4501

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byCandice Reed20/11/2009

“Don’t worry,” a young jovial waitress tells my dining partner and I as she whisks us through the kitchen to the dining area at Papa’s Pizza.

“It will all be finished by the Rugby World Cup.”

Trouble is, we weren’t worried at all. Even in the midst of renovations and on a busy Saturday night with a birthday party booking out the upstairs function room, this pizzeria is charming and delightful.

It was about five years ago that Gail Hunter opted for a fresh start, and purchased the pizza and pasta place opposite Eden Park with her sister. The pair swiftly made changes to the BYO, $20 all you can eat menu which largely appealed to the student population flatting nearby. The pizzeria was reverted back to a full license and pizza, pasta, salad and dessert menu with chefs taking full advantage of quality ingredients to create the now infamous wholemeal pizza bases. The wholemeal dough is made fresh everyday and when in season the restaurant grows its own herbs to use in the homemade pizza sauce and other recipes, just as the chefs have been doing for more than 25 years.

Today, clientele has drifted from the hung-over students to families and everyone in between, and being so close to Eden Park the staff embrace rugby fans, which is the main reason for the renovations hoping to cater for the international influx of guests here to celebrate the Rugby World Cup in a few years time. Already a new courtyard has been added for al fresco dining on warm summer evenings.

It wasn’t a warm summer evening the night we ventured to Papa’s Pizza so we opted to sit inside the cosy restaurant which will soon be expanded. The warm earthy colours and exposed brick feature wall’s instilled a sense of Tuscany and the intimacy was only accentuated by the candles and low lighting.

While the service was friendly enough we had to ask for some water after our meal order was taken, and no one asked us if we wanted to order any drinks the entire time we were there, so we sat content with the water.

We started with garlic pizza bread ($6 entree size, $8 large) and I went with a cabanossi pizza (tomato, cheese and spicy sausage). All the pizzas are priced around the $16 mark for a regular and around $22-$24 for a large. My partner ordered the spaghetti Bolognese ($18.50) from the pasta selection.

It was perfect timing between our garlic pizza bread and our mains. My pizza was delicious, with plenty of spicy sausage to keep me happy, although I wish the ‘special pizza’ had been drawn to my attention earlier as it sounded delicious with blue cheese and even more spicy sausage.

The spaghetti was cooked al dente, but in a rare criticism from my partner there was too much sauce and not enough pasta. Usually at home the complaint is in reverse.

In all, despite the little drinks hiccup, Papa’s Pizza is a warm, happy place catering for all tastes and types and is sure to continue its fine reputation when hungry sports goers from all over the world come in 2011.

Papas Wholemeal Pizza Cafe has been reviewed by 9 users

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