A few months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I came across some very exciting news…Melbourne’s first entirely vegan pizzeria was opening in Collingwood, called the Red Sparrow. Amazing! Whilst pizza is still pretty good sans cheese, or with a bit of bio cheese grated on top, a pizza that was specifically designed for vegans, with homemade vegan cheese, sounded far better.
Fast forward to last week, and scrolling again through my feed I discover that the Red Sparrow is now open! A quick message to Sam and we decide there’s no time to waste, we needed to get there ASAP.
Whilst I’m certainly not the world’s biggest pizza lover (pass me a burger and chips any day), I do love a wood-fired pizza, which is exactly how these pizzas are made. They’re just far more authentic. The Red Sparrow have their very own, (giant, might I add) pizza oven right in the middle of the restaurant.
So this week we decided to jump on a tram and head down. We were a bit nervous that we might not get a seat due to not making a reservation, but the owner was lovely and got us a table straight away, that was reserved for a couple of hours later. Top tip though, if you’re going, book, because they’re very popular.
The place is small, (mostly due to the pizza oven taking up most of the space), but with really cool open brick walls and interesting artwork. I would just like to say one thing at this point, it was seriously bloody hot in there. We did go on a hot day (hello 31 degrees Australian summer), and I’m guessing the pizza oven wasn’t helping towards that, but yeah, a bit of air-con would have definitely improved the overall experience. But hey, it was a hot day and really I probably shouldn’t be complaining if I’m in Australia.
EDIT: The owners have told me that they forgot to turn on the air con. Oops! So you likely won’t be as hot as I was.
Anyway, we decided to get two different pizzas and share. We decided to go with the ‘Classic’ and the ‘Sausage’. The Classic comprised of a San Marzano tomato base, cherry tomato, basil, Fior De Latte and extra virgin olive oil. I’d seen photos and the cheese looked fab so I really wanted to give this a go. Then the Sausage; BBQ base, beer brat, house pickled jalapeños, red onion, mozzarella and aioli. Sam wanted to try this. From the photos I’d seen, I was hesitant. The cheese looked like fairly normal vegan cheese, which is okay, but nothing exciting.
However, I was so wrong. The Sausage pizza was amazing. Seriously, so delicious and far exceeding my expectations. The cheese was so melty, and the sausage out of this world (I really need to hunt it down to buy some myself). Don’t be fooled by the way the cheese looks! This was by far my favourite pizza out of the two.
The Classic was also seriously good and the Fior De Latte amazing. It was so creamy and incredibly realistic. An omni would be hard-pressed to know the difference between that and a non-vegan cheese pizza.
Whilst I didn’t get to try any, the chips looked really good too so next time we head down I’m definitely going to be getting a side of them, and I suggest you do as well.
Finally, dessert. Unfortunately, no photo. They do rotating dessert specials so the desserts are never the same, but when we went we decided to get the gluten free brownie. Sam didn’t want to sit and wait, so we got it to go. It came with ice cream so by the time we got it home, it was a brownie sitting in ice cream soup. Despite this, it was one of the best brownies I’ve had since going vegan. Even more surprising considering it was gluten free. I only wish I could have taken a photo.
If you’re a vegan (or even if you’re not), in Melbourne, craving seriously delicious vegan pizza, you need to head down to Red Sparrow immediately. They have far exceeded my expectations and I’m only disappointed that I’m not in their Uber Eats zone (although perhaps that’s a good thing).