*I dined as a guest of Walter G’s, however all opinions are my own.
Opening up just 7 weeks ago, Walter G’s Pizza Obsession in Dickson offers more Canberrans choice for their pizzas. Gluten-free, wholemeal spelt and low-carb grain free (consisting of of almond meal, linseed meal, sunflower and egg) bases are available for vegans, those with gluten intolerances and those wanting a slightly healthier pizza base. The gluten-free base comes from a supplier on the central coast, while the other two bases are made in-house.
Owner and manager Steve Kolaroski, previously owned a few other chain pizza stores in the capital. With an obsession for pizza, he sold up to open his own pizza store. Focused on Canberra – hence the name Walter G’s after Walter Burley Griffin, Steve is passionate about ethically sourcing the best local and Australian produce on offer. Vegetables and eggs are purchased from local farmers. Meats are free range, humanely raised and free from antibiotics and hormones. Prawns are ocean-caught from Queensland. Even the bottled water sold comes from natural alkaline spring water from Newcastle. I think the only thing they don’t make in house or purchase locally are the sauces.
Located at the Dickson shops, Walter G’s lights up Challis Street with its unmissable neon sign. There are seats along the open window as well as two large communal tables to the side. The space had been designed with small children in mind. The kitchen is very open with low glass windows allowing you and the kiddies to peek in and watch the whole process.
I was watching a girl make Nutella pizza (yes, NUTELLA PIZZA), on a wholemeal spelt base.
Steve’s main goal is to represent Canberra. The map of Canberra on the feature wall will travel with the brand if it opens interstate in the future. Even the tables were made from recycled timber from the Australian Institute of Sport and hockey centre in Canberra.
Onto the menu. There are the classics such as margherita, pepperoni and capricciosa. Then there are 15 items on the pizza specialty menu. We decided to start with the cheesy garlic and herb bread, and tried Steve’s favourites – the Chicken Porto and Vegan Supreme. They all arrived together in pizza boxes which was great as we could take away what we couldn’t finish.
The cheesy garlic and herb bread (usually $9) turned out to be an entire pizza! The dough was a little bland but had a nice chewy texture. And there was plenty of garlic mince and mozzarella cheese on top.
The Chicken Porto (usually $23 for 13 inch) was filling with a heap of toppings – thinly sliced chicken, free range bacon, chunky pineapple, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion, buffalo cheese and peri peri aioli. A little hard to eat only because the toppings were thicker than the dough, hence the toppings would slide off unless you folded it over. But both J and I were really happy with the combination of ingredients. So tasty!
The Vegan Supreme (usually $25 for 13 inch) consisted of vegan chorizo, vegan mozzarella cheese, roasted red capsicum, Spanish onion, mushrooms and olives. The vegan chorizo was a little bland at first and I couldn’t taste any flavour, but then again, I had just eaten a slice of the Chicken Porto. When I got to another piece of chorizo, I could taste a hint of spice and an echo of what meat would taste like. The cheese tasted different as it didn’t have that creamy dairy aspect, but the difference wasn’t a deal breaker. For a vegan pizza, this was pretty good. The pizza was actually meant to have vegan ham and vegan pepperoni on it, however as the vegan meat is sourced from one supplier in Australia who had run out of both, vegan chorizo was provided instead.
I had my eye on the Nutella pizza (usually $12) as soon as we walked in, so we had to try it. Topped with Nutella, banana, strawberries and icing sugar, this was a good way to finish off our pizza night. I liked that they cut the pizza after spreading a thick layer of Nutella, and then placed the rest of the toppings on so that you didn’t have to cut through the fruit on top. Compared to the other pizza bases, this was slightly thicker but also a lot softer. I much prefer a soft base for dessert pizza to a crusty base as it tastes more like a pancake. J thought the bananas were a little too ‘green’ but I didn’t mind it.
There was a thick layer of Nutella spread on the base. For you vegans, there’s also a vegan chocolate pizza available! The other dessert pizza on offer is the banana custard pizza.
There were a lot more staff than I expected working in the kitchen. Take away orders were popular that night with a few people waiting for their pizzas to take home. Walter G’s is active in giving back to the community, with $1 from every kids pizza donated to Camp Quality, and at the end of the month, another contribution is made from their sales. They also organise dinners for the Camp Quality kids and their families at no charge. The eatery is already popular with vegans with several dinners booked. On the way out, we saw the dessert fridge filled with ice cream, sorbet and mousse.
We grabbed the chocolate mousse (usually $5) that Steve gets from Sydney. The mousse is gluten and preservative free and only lasts 21 days. I must say I did enjoy it – it was thick, rich, very creamy and so chocolatey. Between the two of us, we smashed through it very quickly. We also tried the black forest sorbet (usually $4.50) which was basically a chocolate sorbet. I’d definitely go back for that chocolate mousse!
Walter G’s is situated at 28 Challis Street in Dickson. Open for dinner seven days a week. Check out their website for the full menu.
Value for money 7.5/10
FPJ score 23/30
If you want more random photos and updates about food, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram