There were confused rumblings coming out of the food blogosphere last month, as a rumour started spreading about a pizza vending machine that had been installed in a shopping centre somewhere in Sydney. What madness is this?! Pizza from a vending machine? It’s against the laws of nature!
It’s true. It exists. I’ve been there, I’ve been a guinea pig, and I present to you today Pizza Gio – Sydney’s first pizza vending machine.
Owned by the same people who run Pompeii’s pizza in Bondi, the Pizza Gio vending machine is located on Level 4 of Westfield Chatswood right next to the Boost Juice kiosk. It’s relatively compact and doesn’t immediately catch your eye – I noticed groups of shoppers walking past it before doing a double take and returning to look at it closer. No one seems keen to try it themselves though, and I ended up having a family watch me as I stepped up to place my order.
I placed my order on a touchscreen in the middle of the vending machine, giving it a few seconds as the touchscreen wasn’t particularly responsive. Pizza Gio keeps the choices simple with either a Margherita pizza or a Salami pizza, both priced at $12 for an 11 inch pizza.
After making my selection and putting in my payment (coins, notes, pay wave and credit cards all accepted), I stood back and waited for a mere three minutes while the aromas of baking pizza wafted out of the machine towards me. It’s all very enclosed and very secret though – you can’t see the oven at work. How great would it be if there was a little viewing window into the oven and you could see your pizza cooking?
Before long, our Salami pizza slid out in a little cardboard box. We were confused as it appeared that there was no lid to the box, making the pizza difficult to transport, and then we realised that the top of the box is folded in on itself. Transportation is possible – you can take this pizza home!
It’s not much to look at with three simple ingredients on a thin crusty base – tomato paste, mozzarella and salami. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are most satisfying though – K and I had actually just finished a gym session and ended up smashing the whole pizza between the two of us in under five minutes (gym session be damned!).
It’s not bad as far as takeaway pizzas go. The base was surprisingly crisp, though not as charred as some may prefer in their thin-based pizzas. It’s also surprisingly fresh, given that it’s technically a reheated frozen pizza.
While Pizza Gio certainly isn’t going to be winning any top pizza awards, it more than measures up to any pizza stall in a shopping centre food court – which really, is what it’s competing against. It is a little bit pricey at $12…for that amount, I could buy three pre-made pizzas from the supermarket and just heat them up at home. It’s worth a try though, for novelty’s sake if nothing else!