Napoli in Bocca, Haberfield

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore’

Ahhh pizza. I have a long and fruitful (minus the fruit) history with everyone’s favourite Italian export. The first time I ever ordered pizza for myself was with a bunch of change I had found on the bottom of one of my drawers. I had no idea how so many coins had managed to find their way into where I kept my crayons but I wasn’t complaining. The only unhappy person on that day was the poor delivery guy who had to count all my coins.

For the record, it was a large Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut.

Also for the record, I’ve come a long way from Pizza Hut. More specifically, all the way to Napoli in Bocca in Haberfield.

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When I decided that I wanted to start a food blog, I created a list of restaurants I really wanted to go. The list has continued to grow due to a tonne of suggestions from my friends and me falling into the rabbit hole that is the food blogging community. Napoli in Bocca was one of the original additions on my list and I’ve wanted to go since before the list was even created.

I have a few Italian friends and Napoli in Bocca reminded me of their kitchens only if they were super sized. It was quaint, homely and smelt like every single one of my food dreams that culminates in me eating an entire family sized pizza.

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We were supposed to eat as a party of three but our third had yet to arrive. Thinking ahead, the two of us decided to time our order in time with our third’s arrival.

However, this backfired as we were unaware of Napoli in Bocca’s incredible efficiency. Our friend said she was five minutes away and every single one of our dishes arrived before she did.

Whoops.

First off was our caprese salad

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Caprese salad featuring bocconcini, tomatoes and basil.

Fun game: Find someone who doesn’t have a great grasp on the English language and have them try and pronounce random dishes on an Italian menu.

Another fun game: exchanging looks with your buddy when the salad you order barely features any hint of green.

I bit into a slice of tomato and bocconcini cheese and was immediately surprised. I had expected the cheese to be incredibly salty as that was the common denominator in my past experience with white cheese. Instead, the bocconcini served as more of a texture mix-up for the juicy tomato slice that had been dowsed in olive oil. The addition of basil leaves to the dance led to quite the rousing ball hosted in my mouth as well.

Within thirty seconds of our salad’s arrival came our second dish. The one I’ve been waiting for all this time.

My pizza pie.

Scugnizzo pizza featuring tomato, mozarella, ham and spicy salami
Scugnizzo pizza featuring tomato, mozarella, ham and spicy salami

Our third amigo was still in transit and our patience was waning. We called her and she nobly suggested we start eating without her.

Well, if you insist.

The crust was fantastic as it was a product of a wood fired oven you meet as soon as you enter the restaurant. The tomato based pizza sauce was also great and did a lot to enhance the ham that sat atop of it. The problem with a lot of fast food pizza is that they overload on toppings hoping you can look past the poor foundation (cheese, sauce, base). Traditional Italian pizza is all about the base and the toppings are there to top it off.

Heh. Sorry, I had to.

(P.S: The accompanying chilli oil is awesome).

To his credit, he didn't even crack the smallest of grins.
To his credit, he didn’t even crack the smallest of grins.

Next two dishes to arrive before our now extremely late buddy were our two pasta dishes.

Gnocci Rosa. Homemade potato dumplings in Napoletana sauce with a touch of cream.
Gnocchi Rosa. Homemade potato dumplings in Napoletana sauce with a touch of cream.

This was my buddy’s favourite dish as he devoured three quarters of the plate himself. All of our selections had been very rich and the gnocchi was no exception. Napoli in Bocca’s dishes clearly aren’t the type to call you up late in the night asking for a gambling loan.

Spaghetti Marinara
Spaghetti Marinara

Our friend arrived and we immediately shoveled a bit of everything onto her plate. I was in charge of giving her some of the spaghetti marinara but I wasn’t as generous as I probably should’ve been. Why? Because it was delicious and I’m not a very nice person when it comes to sharing food.

This was my favourite dish of the night. Do you remember how I said my buddy ate three quarters of the gnocchi? That was my plan all along as it distracted him from having any of the Marinara. The sauce was exploding with flavour and there was a heap of seafood in the plate. This was definitely some of the best pasta I’ve ever had and all it took to enjoy most of it was ordering a Trojan horse-esque plate of gnocchi.

So scandalous.

Here’s the TL; DR for folks who just wanted to look at photos:

– To some people arriving at seven o’clock means arriving at seven thirty

– My salad knowledge is very low

– Scugnizzo pizza is very fun to say and is also delicious

– Gnocchi is good, spaghetti marinara is better

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Napoli in Bocca, Haberfield

73 Dalhousie Street

Opening Hours:

Sunday 12:00-3:00 pm, 5:30-9:30 pm
Monday 6:00-10:30 pm
Tuesday 6:00-10:30 pm
Wednesday 12:00-3:00 pm, 6:00-10:30 pm
Thursday 12:00-3:00 pm, 6:00-10:30 pm
Friday 12:00-3:00 pm, 6:00-11:30 pm
Saturday 12:00-3:00 pm, 6:00-11:30 pm

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