UPDATE May 4th 2016: last time I visited a few weeks ago, there were five vegan/vegan option pizzas on the menu!
Word on the street in Vegan Town is that there’s a new pizza place in Pascoe Vale South offering a vegan pizza. Not just a vegetarian-hold-the-cheese pizza but a real live fully vegan-by-design pizza, topped with vegan sausage and cheese. Yes please!
Shop 225 has been open for about four months and is located at the Bell Street end of Melville Road in Pascoe Vale South. Being a frequent visitor to this area and the 55 West Coburg tram, I’m really happy to finally see a vegan meal option in this part of Melville Road and Bell Street.
It was a little too humid for us to sit outside but we were glad to be indoors and nab the big island bench table right by the pizza oven and preparation area. There’s a larger table, window bench and some tables for two along the wall. There’s also some seating if you’re waiting to collect a pizza.
Of course I was going to get the La Moda pizza ($21), labelled as vegan on the menu. Topped with tomato, silverbeet, Notzarella and Tofurky sausage (I asked for olives, rocket and basil too), my pizza was ready in no time (thanks to the 400 degree oven) and was top notch. Arthur was also very happy with his non-vegan pizza. For dessert we ordered a house made mango sorbet which was also delicious, though I was too stuffed to have more than a mouthful, much to Arthur’s delight.
We gotta establish something here and now– Shop 225 do not make your kinda standard pizza bases that you find all over the ‘burbs and in university cafs. Nor do they make pizzas like you’d see on a regular pizza joint menu (you know, things like Hawaiian, Capriciossa and so on). This is artisan style Napoli pizzas, where the base is very thin but the crusts are pillowy and puffed up nice and soft, not crispy. The dough is prepared over two days and your pizza is made super quick in the wood fired oven. I love these kinds of pizzas and they’re a very welcome change from what I usually see on offer elsewhere.
The menu offers nine pizzas total, with the La Moda being the dedicated vegan pizza. Although the menu states no changes to be made to the pizzas, I asked if I could have some eggplant and maybe a drizzle of truffle oil next time and they were okay with that. Pizzas are one size only (yes, you will be full!) and the menu also states no half-half pizza combos. There’s a specials board too and pizza pickup is available.
There are house made gluten free pizza bases too! Yay! These have limited availability and are $4 extra. Of course, all the regular pizza bases contain gluten. A gluten free pizza was being made in front of me and I was impressed with how the house made dough looked and relieved for GF customers who can get a nice freshly made base and not a pre-packaged jobbie.
As well as the pizzas, Shop 225 offer beverages and house made desserts including the vegan gelato. Service was friendly and helpful too and we had a nice chat about vegan meats and cheeses out there, so rest assured Michael and Connie fully understand vegan requirements!
I’m really keen to see what happens with vegan food in Pascoe Vale South. Being a regular visitor for many years now, I haven’t yet discovered any vegan options apart from the excellent Miinot Gelato further down Melville Road. I’ve popped my head in to cafes but haven’t seen any vegan friendly menus. I’m hoping that others follow Shop 225’s example and introduce dedicated and flavourful vegan options.
225 Melville Road, Pascoe Vale South