This inauthentic pizza place has been on our “to do” list for nearly the whole year, so when Hubby Bear’s birthday rolled around, we thought it the perfect time to give it a try! We gathered up a merry crew to celebrate with then headed to The Moor’s Head for a big night of eating and drinking!
This restaurant is carved out of, what appears to have been, an old garage of sorts. So the walls, windows and decor tower above a scattering of basic tables and chairs on polished concrete floors.
A few jugs of beers and a bottle of red wine juiced everyone up perfectly to be hungry for the three pides (boat-shaped pizzas) and two manoushes (round pizzas) that hit the table. The Bosphorus Pide ($20.00) was the hands-down winner for the night, with prawns sprinkled in with some tomato, chili, garlic and fresh coriander. How do I know it was a hands-down winner if I’m vegetarian? Because it was the first dish to completely disappear from the table! 😉
The Erkin Koray Pide ($19.50) was the carnivores’ second choice with beef sujuk (like a salami I suppose), red peppers, black olives, and melted haloumi smothering a tomato base. “Yeah, it’s good” was the general consensus.
The vegetarian Istanbuli Pide ($19.00) was my preferred out of the two veg options we ordered. Slices of cooked pumpkin, bits of spinach and carmelised onion, globs of yogurt, and a light sprinkling of dukkah and fresh parsley. Nothing overly special flavour-wise, but nice.
Now let’s move onto the round pizzas – the meat eaters had the Fred The Deaf Manoushe ($20.00). A healthy dose of roquette was mixed in with slivers of green olives, tahini yogurt, all sitting atop free range minced chicken seasoned with garlic and a spice blend called ‘baharat’. I could tell this was the least favoured meat pizza, as only the very hungry at the end of the night ate the final pieces. 😉
The other veg pizza ordered was the Saladin Manoushe ($18.50) that also had a decent helping of roquette salad on top. Mixed in was fresh mint, walnuts and felfeleh (or what I ignorantly thought was Sriracha sauce) hiding the smeared paste of red za’atar on the base. All I can say is….interesting. A totally contrasted mix of flavours that my taste buds didn’t know how to process, and actually, still don’t know how to process. The jury’s still out on this one for me.
To offset all the doughy mains, we had two salads dancing around the table. The Iceberg Salad ($9.00) left a lot to be desired – in particular a few more leaves of lettuce! Despite the pomegranate dressing being pretty tasty, the lack of salad to eat with it made it a non-event. However, the Roquette Salad ($9.50) balanced things back out with it’s dried spiced cheese (‘shankleesh’), Iranian raisins and copious amounts of rocket leaves.
We finished with a plate of the classic uber-sweet, semi-wobbly, semi-firm Turkish Delight ($6.50) which were ripped in half and shared around the table — a good thing because one whole glob would’ve been far too sweet for one person to handle. The clumps of orange-citrus-y flavoured Fairy Floss ($5.50) were more novel than tasty, but hey, it was Hubby Bear’s birthday, so nothing like finishing off with something a bit magical in its name! 🙂
Overall? The Moor’s Head was a solid good night out. Nothing that hit the table would make us go back anytime real soon. Now, we’re not saying we wouldn’t go back, we’re just saying nothing we had that night would tempt us back before another year passes by. But if you want to find out what inauthentic Middle Eastern / Lebanese pizza is like, then we urge you to go – perhaps your palette with disagree with our findings! 🙂
Address: Rear 774 High Street, Carlton VIC 3071
Tip! Don’t get too confused when you stand out the front of 774 High Street and can’t see the door to head in! You actually enter via the side street, Collins. 🙂