The founders of some of Melbourne's best-known cafes have a new project, but instead of scrambling eggs and assembling superfood salads, they're slinging pizzas.
Brothers Kael and Matt Sahely, their father Elias Sahely, and siblings Matt and Emily Stribley – collectively responsible for Lobbs, Square & Compass, Pillar of Salt, Barry, Vacation, Bawa and Touchwood, among others – took over the former Pizza Religion site in Armadale four months ago, reopening as Neighbourhood Pizza Shop at the end of July after a minor facelift.
"The idea was to keep it super simple and traditional," says Emily. "We want it to be approachable, more like a weeknight spot for people to come to with their families."
Instead of thin, crisp bases for which Pizza Religion was known, they'll be spinning thicker, fluffier, and more Neapolitan bases, topped with ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, pork sausage, mozzarella, roasted peppers and oregano, or tiger prawns, chilli, mozzarella, lemon and parsley.
Pasta, including casareccia with spinach, confit tomato, basil pesto, porcini, pinenuts and rocket, and rigatoni amatriciana and lasagne are also available.
There's a short and sharp wine list (Italian and Australian reds, whites and pinks, plus Peroni beers, spritzes and negronis), which can be bolstered further by a BYO bottle from neighbouring wine bar Toorak Cellars from Sunday to Tuesday.
Open Sun-Thu 5.30pm-9.30pm; Fri-Sat 5.30pm-10pm.
20 Beatty Ave, Armadale, neighbourhoodpizzashop.com.au