The intersection of Victoria and Sydenham Roads in Marrickville has always been more of a “through” place than a “to” place. Or at least it was, until the arrival of NOM Pizza in the little space on the south-west corner. Normally we would avoid any place named after a LOL-cat meme just on general principle, but the promise of proper wood-fired pizza got the better of us.
So forget the name, what of the pizza? Well, it’s good. Damn good. And made by people who not only know what the hell they’re doing but are doing it with the right kit. Forget those awful pizza “ovens” that are really just glorified conveyer belt toasters of the sort you use to crisp up your raisin bread at some four-star “resort’s” breakfast buffet: NOM has what they claim to be the only commercial wood-fired pizza oven in Marrickville, a proper Italian job brought over from the Boot and stoked every night to five hundred degrees. The result is thin, crispy crusts, lightly dressed, very much in the Neapolitan-New York style the Prick grew up with.
The menu offers all the classics, and wisely they don’t try and do anything else but make good pizza. No one’s dough-spinning rhythms are going to get thrown off having to heap a desultory pile of soggy pasta boscaiola into an aluminium foil container. But purists though they may be, they’re not so precious about their pies that they turn their nose up at doing a ham and pineapple: Yes, the concept is appalling, but they’re the Littlest Prick’s favourite and he’s only six and we’re just hoping he grows out of this phase before he starts shaving. If his reaction to the prosciutto and rocket pizza (everyone’s hands-down favourite) was anything to go by, we may not have to worry much longer. The other big winner of the night was the potato pizza, a brutally simple number that starts with spuds roasted off in that aforementioned oven then sliced thinly and put on a pie. The result is an unctuous, more-ish racket of sensations: crispy, oily, salty, herby, chewy goodness.
The only thing missing is someplace to sit. We had hoped we could eat in, but save for some makeshift seating outside it’s pretty much a take-away kind of deal. Would it be being too much of a prick if the Prick hoped the shop next door went under, allowing NOM to knock through and put in some proper tables and chairs? Probably, but what the hell.
NOM is part of the bigger foodie renaissance that has captured Marrickville, a suburb that’s still edgy in a way that the once-sketch Alexandria – now a hipster theme park – abandoned long ago. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing: Marrickville girls have dirt under their fingernails and they’re proud of it, and the local ethic seems to be more artisanal, less showing off. Me? I’ve just got a little tomato sauce on the corner of my mouth. Nom.